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Volleyball Falls in Five Set Thriller to Colorado in Front of Record Crowd
Paige Miller matched her career-high with 46 assists
BALTIMORE – Playing in front of the largest crowd to ever watch a collegiate volleyball contest at the RAC Arena, the UMBC volleyball team fell to Colorado, 3-2 (25-17, 21-25, 25-23, 20-25, 15-6), in tightly played match, Friday night on the first day of the Maddie Bingaman Tournament. The crowd of 1,021 nearly doubled the school record that was set three years ago at the same tournament when the Retrievers took on Long Island and Northeastern in front of 537 spectators.
The contest was balanced throughout as the teams went back-and forth in each set. Colorado (5-2) won the statistical battle as the Buffaloes outhit the Retrievers (.278-.241) and had a slight edge in digs (65-60).
Freshman Sherelle Walker (New Freedom, Pa./Susquehannock) once again paced the Retriever offense putting away 18 winners to record her sixth double-digit kill effort of the season and second of the week. Junior middle blocker Emily Witsman (Medina, Ohio/Medina) was strong up the middle recording 13 kills and seven block assists.
Senior Ali Loynachan (Whitby, Ontario/Sinclair) and sophomore Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales) each registered nine kills for UMBC (3-8) as setter Paige Miller used six different teammates to match a career-high with 46 assists.
Colorado setter Nicole Edelman also got numerous parties involved en route to assisting 52 winners. Alexis Austin and Kelsey English topped the Buffs’ offense with 16 and 15 kills, respectively.
Coming to Baltimore for the first time, Colorado ran out to a fast start, gaining a 12-7 lead in the first set after two Retriever attack errors. UMBC rallied quickly though, cutting the lead to two, 15-13, on a kill by Schmidt. The Buffs were then able to rekindle their opening fire and ran off eight of the final ten points to win the opener, 25-17.
The Retrievers were not intimidated, however, and battled in the second set as the teams could not pull away from one another. After a UMBC service error tied the set for the last time at 18, the Retrievers streaked to five consecutive points and finished out the set on a Colorado service error to knot the match with a 25-21 set win.
Colorado came out in the third set in a similar fashion to the opening frame and took a quick four point lead, 7-3, forcing a UMBC timeout. The Buffs maintained their lead until UMBC rallied with five straight points to take its first lead of the set, 18-17, on a service ace from Schmidt. The Retrievers extended their lead to 20-18, but CU used a 5-0 run to retake the lead for good and held on to claim the set, 25-23.
The fourth set was the tightest one of the night as the teams were tied 14 times, the last one coming at 16 all with Witsaman knotting the score for the Retrievers. The middle blocker then finished off a 4-0 UMBC run with another kill to put the hosts ahead, 19-16. The back-and-forth play then ensued as the Retrievers forced a fifth set by taking the fourth, 25-20.
In the fifth set, with the score tied at three, the visitors made a game-changing 5-0 run to all but put away the match. UMBC answered with two points to cut the lead to four, 9-5, but got no closer as the Buff won the match with a 15-6 win in the fifth.
UMBC gets right back on to the court as the squad hosts James Madison on the second day of the Maddie Bingaman Tournament, Sunday at the RAC Arena. The Retrievers and Dukes are set to begin at 10:30 a.m. before the Black and Gold finishes tournament play against Howard at 4:30 p.m.
- This was the first ever meeting between UMBC and Colorado in volleyball.
- The Retrievers are now 0-4 all-time against Pac-12 opponents (0-1 vs. Colorado; 0-1 vs. USC; 0-2 vs. Washington).
- With the win, Colorado coach Liz Kritza earned her 100th career win for the Buffaloes.