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New Hampshire Outlasts Volleyball in Five Sets in Home Opener
Hannah Schmidt recorded her fifth double-double
BALTIMORE – UMBC freshman Sherelle Walker (New Freedom, Pa./Susquehannock) set a new career-high with 22 kills, but it was not enough as New Hampshire outlasted the Retrievers in a wild five-setter, Friday evening at the RAC Arena. The Wildcats won 3-2 (25-22, 18-25, 25-22, 20-25, 15-12) after leading by a set twice in the match.
Sophomore Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales) was also in double figures for UMBC (7-12, 0-2 AE), matching her season-high with 14 kills while also picking up 12 digs for her team-best fifth double-double of the season. Junior Hallie Carter (Huntington Beach, Calif./Edison) led a quartet of Retrievers in double-digit digs with a match-best 15 while junior Mallory McIntyre (Winnipeg, Manitoba/St. Mary’s Academy) set a career-high with 49 assists in the loss.
New Hampshire (10-8, 2-0 AE) was led by a balanced attack in which four Wildcats reached double figures in kills, including a team-best 15 by reigning conference Player of the Week Morgan Thatcher. Abigail Brinkman and Tori Forrest each recorded 13 kills and Brenna Buckwalter registered 11 for the Wildcats who won at the RAC Arena for the first time since 2010 when they also won in five sets.
The two teams were tight throughout the back-and-forth match as UNH barely out hit UMBC, .255-.221, while the Retrievers picked up more digs than the Wildcats, 61-56.
The opening set was full of runs as the hosts took the initiative by claiming four out of the opening five points for an early 4-1 lead. UNH rallied immediately, however, with three straight points for the second of 11 ties in the set. After neither team could gain more than a one-point advantage, the Retrievers rattled off four straight, the last on a kill from Schmidt to take a 16-12 lead. UMBC maintained that lead, but with the score at 21-17, the visitors went on a 8-1 run to close out the set with a 25-22 win.
The momentum continued into the second frame as UNH claimed the early lead by three, 10-7. A Retriever rally of four straight points gave them the lead 11-10, as the two teams then traded points until a tie at 16-16. From there UMBC won ten of the next 13 points to even the match at a set apiece on a service ace by sophomore Tanaeri Santiago (Bayamon, Puerto Rico/American Military Academy).
The third set continued the seesaw battle as UNH took the early lead, only to see UMBC storm back from down by four to take the lead, 17-16, on a kill from senior Ali Loynachan (Whitby, Ontario/Sinclair). Once again New Hampshire responded quickly by reclaiming the lead and widening it to four, 21-17. The Retrievers fought back and cut the lead to two at 23-21 and 24-22, but could not come all the way back, dropping the set 25-22.
In the fourth set, UMBC set the tone early and led 5-2 after Carter served an ace. In following the pattern set earlier, UNH rallied and the teams traded the lead seven times in the set and were tied on 11 occasions. After tying the set at 17-17 on a kill from redshirt-freshman Krystal Mlemchukwu (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech), UMBC took the lead for good on the next point and finished off the set, 25-20, on a kill by Wallker.
Early in the fifth set, the fifth five-set contest of the season for the Retrievers, the teams could not separate themselves, tying at 4-4. New Hampshire’s 4-0 run looked like it would be decisive, but the resilient Retrievers rebounded and came back to knot the set at 12. Three straight Wildcat points though finally ended the match.
UMBC continues its brief home stand on Sunday when the squad hosts conference rival Providence at the RAC at 2 p.m.
- New Hampshire now leads the all-time series with UMBC, 10-9, and is 6-4 all-time at the RAC Arena.
- The Retrievers are now 1-4 this season in five-set contests.
- Senior Katie Kelly (Diamond Bar, Calif./Diamond Bar) saw action in four sets for her first action of the season.
- UMBC’s 57 assists were the team’s second most of the season in a single match (59 vs. Colorado).
- The Retrievers set a new season-high with 13 service aces.