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Kennedy and Spaay Make Senior Day Memorable, Volleyball Beats Hartford 3-1
Dalton Tolliver recorded a team-high 17 kills against Hartford
BALTIMORE – Playing in their final match at the RAC Arena, seniors Iman Kennedy (Charlotte, N.C./Independence) and Allie Spaay (Kenosha, Wis./Kenosha Tremper) made the most of the day. Spaay recorded her 13th double-double of the season and Kennedy notched 12 kills to lead the Retrievers past Hartford, 3-1, Sunday afternoon by game scores of 25-18, 17-25, 25-19, 25-23.
Looking to build on their win over New Hampshire on Friday, UMBC (15- 11, 5-6 America East) turned to their seniors to get the job done against Hartford (12-16, 3-6 America East). Spaay registered 48 assists on the day, just two shy of her season-high, while picking up 13 digs against the Hawks.
Junior Ali Loynachan (Whitby, Ontario, Canada/Sinclair) had a huge day for the Retrievers pickup up her third double-double of the season with 11 kills and 24 digs. Freshman Dalton Tolliver (Ortonville, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) continued her strong weekend, once again leading UMBC in kills totaling 17 and hitting .389 against the Hawks. Classmates Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales) and Megan Groess (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon) made key contributions off the bench notching nine and eight kills respectively.
“We played a great team match,” said head coach Ian Blanchard. “We were playing with pressure and could have been eliminated, but now we have a chance, and we’ll be ready to fight on Sunday [at Providence]. ”
The Retrievers started the match strong jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first set. Hartford then rallied to tie it at six, but UMBC quickly rebounded to take control. After taking a timeout with a 14-12 lead, the Retrievers went on an 11-6 run to close out the set behind three kills each from Kennedy, Loynachan, and Tolliver.
Hartford made a match of it in the second set. Down 10-8, the Hawks used a quick 4-0 stretch to take their first lead of the day. Hartford then used four kills by Kami Nethersole to even the match at one with a 25-17 second set win. Nethersole finished the contest with 17 kills.
Playing for their America East tournament life, the Retrievers responded quickly in the third set. Tolliver made her impact on the match felt here picking up six kills in the set to lead UMBC to a 25-19 win.
The fourth set turned into a back and forth affair as the two lead were tied six times in the set. Tied at 22, the Retrievers got a side out on a kill by Kennedy, and two plays later finished the match with a kill by Groess.
“This was a good emotional win,” said Blanchard. “I’m really proud of the way we persevered through the ebbs and flows of the match.”
Sophomore Ali Goc (Oshawa, Ontario, Canada/R.S. McLaughlin Collegiate) was a big part of that perseverance, steadying the Retrievers in the back with 20 digs in the match.
The Retrievers close out their regular season with a chance to earn a berth in the America East Volleyball Championships when they travel to take on Providence on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 1 p.m. Earlier this year UMBC swept the Friars 3-0 at the RAC Arena.