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Vandegrift and Walker Lead Volleyball to Comeback Victory at East Carolina
Sherelle Walker had 15 kills
GREENVILLE, N.C. – UMBC freshman outside hitter Sherelle Walker (New Freedom, Pa./Susquehannock) led a trio of Retrievers in double figures with 15 kills and junior Emily Vandegrift (Leesburg, Va./Loudoun County) recorded her second straight double-double as the UMBC volleyball team rallied from a set down to defeat East Carolina, 3-1 (23-25, 25-22, 28-26, 25-19), Friday evening at the Pirate Invitational at Minges Coliseum.
For Walker it was her second straight contest in double figures for UMBC (6-9) after recording 12 winners at St. Francis (Pa.) earlier in the week. Vandegrift, who had 10 kills and 10 digs on Tuesday, registered 11 kills while picking up 17 digs against the Pirates and sophomore Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales) contributed ten kills for the Retrievers.
“This is a very satisfying win for us tonight,” said head coach Ian Blanchard. “We had to grind it out a little bit, but we showed some toughness in someone else’s gym.”
East Carolina (1-10) was paced by a double-double from Hannah Allgood who hit 12 winners and picked up 17 digs. Nicole Wills and Kelly Derby were also in double figures with 15 and 12 kills, respectively.
The hosts came out gunning in the opening set paced by five kills from Wills and four apiece from Allgood and Derby. East Carolina limited the Retrievers to an even hitting percentage (.000) while recording five total blocks en route to a 25-23 opening set win.
UMBC inserted junior setter Mallory McIntyre (Winnipeg, Manitoba/St. Mary’s Academy)) in the second set and it paid instant dividends as the Retrievers rallied to knot the match at one set each by claiming the second set 25-22. McIntyre finished the match with a contest-best 38 assists.
The third set was a back-and-forth affair from the start as the two teams traded the lead eight times and were tied on 15 separate occasions. Eventually the Retrievers held off three Pirate set points, the final one at 26-25, and then won three straight points to take the advantage with a 28-26 set victory.
The fourth set had a similar flow as neither team could jump out to a lead, tying 11 more times, the last one coming at 19-19. From there UMBC ran off the final six points to close out the match with a 25-19 win in the fourth.
UMBC is back in action Saturday morning at the Pirate Invitational to take on former Big South rival Coastal Carolina at 10 a.m. The Retrievers then conclude weekend play with an afternoon contest against Marshall at 4 p.m.
- UMBC is now 3-1 all-time against ECU.
- This was the first match between UMBC and ECU not played on a neutral court.
- The Retrievers and Pirates had not played each other since 2001.
- UMBC has now won its last two road matches to level its record in road contests to 3-3 on the season.
- Junior Ali Goc (Oshawa, Ontario/R.S. McLaughlin) picked up 15 digs against the Pirates and has now recorded double-digit digs in five of the last six matches.