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Vandegrift’s Double-Double Helps Volleyball Hold off St. Francis (Pa.) on the Road
Emily Vandegrift had ten kills and ten digs
LORETTO, Pa. – UMBC volleyball junior Emily Vandegrift (Leesburg, Va./Loudoun County) recorded her first double-double of the season as the UMBC volleyball team hung on to defeat St. Francis (Pa.), 3-2 (25-17, 25-20, 15-25, 14-25, 15-9), Tuesday evening at DeGol Arena. The Retrievers won the first two sets, but were forced to play five as the Red Flash rallied to capture the next two.
Vandegrift stepped up for UMBC (5-9), who picked up its first five-set victory of the season after dropping its previous three contests which went to the brink. The junior outside hitter recorded a season-high 10 kills and picked up 10 digs against St. Francis (Pa.) (3-8) for her second career double-double.
Freshman Sherelle Walker (New Freedom, Pa./Schuylkill Valley) led the Retrievers with 12 kills while junior libero Ali Goc (Oshawa, Ontario/R.S. McLaughlin) paced the back line with 16 kills. Goc was just one of four Retrievers with double digit digs as junior Hallie Carter (Huntington Beach, Calif./Edison), sophomore Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales) and Vandegrift were also in double figures.
Outside hitter Breanna Kochinsky led the Red Flash with a double-double of her own, notching 12 kills to go along with a match-high 24 digs. Middle hitter Lauren Wingard was also in double figures for the hosts with ten put-aways.
After falling behind 10-6 in the first set, UMBC regrouped to win ten of the next 13 points and claim the lead 16-13 on one of four kills by Schmidt. The hosts cut the lead to one at 16-15, but could not get any closer as the Retrievers ran off the final five points to win the opening set 25-17.
UMBC continued its roll into the second set winning five of the first six points to stake to a 5-1 lead. St. Francis (Pa.) rallied right away, however, going on a 14-5 run, opening up a five-point cushion, 15-10. The Retrievers responded with a run of their own, winning 12 of 13 points, reclaiming the lead for good. The hosts made another run, but could not catch the visitors who won the frame, 25-20.
The Red Flash was able to channel its frustration in the third, winning the opening point on a kill by Kochinsky and never looked back, with a 25-15 set win.
The fourth set was more of a back-and-forth affair as the teams were tied seven times and traded the lead on three occasions. After the Retrievers tied the set for the final time at 12-12, the Red Flash got on a roll winning 13 of the final 15 points to level the match with a 25-14 win in the fourth.
Having failed to win its last three five-set contests this season, the Retrievers came out firing in the final frame, overturning a 3-2 St. Francis (Pa.) lead with four straight points and never trailed again. The hosts won back-to-back points to cut the lead to 13-9, but kills from Schmidt and Vandegrift gave UMBC the win.
The Retrievers now head down to Greenville, N.C. this weekend to wrap up non-conference play at the Pirate Invitational. UMBC will take on tournament host East Carolina on Friday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. before facing Coastal Carolina and Marshall on Saturday.
- UMBC is now 10-3 all-time against its former NEC rival St. Francis (Pa.). The Retrievers have won the last seven meetings with the Red Flash.
- The Retrievers’ last five-set win came in their 2011 regular season finale at Providence on Nov. 13.
- Vandegrift’s first career double-double came last year when she posted 14 kills and ten digs as the Retrievers defeated Binghamton on the road, 3-1 on Oct. 30, 2011.
- Ali Goc has picked up double digit digs in eight of the past 11 contests and leads the Retrievers with 168 digs.