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Volleyball Sweeps Past Hartford on Senior Day
Senior Katie Kelly
Senior Ali Loynachan
BALTIMORE – For the second straight season the UMBC volleyball team defeated Hartford on Senior Day, this time in three sets (25-20, 25-15, 25-18), Sunday afternoon at the RAC Arena. The Retrievers downed the Hawks a year ago in four sets in their final home match of the season.
With the win, UMBC improves to 14-14 overall this season and 7-4 in America East play while Hartford falls to 8-18 this season and 2-8 in conference contests.
The Retrievers held the Hawks to just an .018 hitting percentage while hitting .231 themselves. UMBC also out-blocked the visitors nine to five.
Freshman Krystal Mlemchukwu (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech) led a balanced UMBC offense with a match-best ten kills while sophomore Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales) posted a contest-high 17 digs. Junior Ali Goc (Oshawa, Ontario/R.S. McLaughlin) also picked up double-digit digs with 12 and junior Hallie Carter (Huntington Beach, Calif./Edison) just missed out on a double-double with nine kills and nine digs.
Hartford’s Dionna Kirton picked up a team-best six kills to go along with ten digs with setter Jackie Tamburri registered a double-double with 21 assists and ten digs.
The visitors took the early advantage in the opening frame, winning four out the first five points, to take an early 4-1 lead. UMBC hung tough though and chipped away at the lead, eventually knotting the score at 9-9 on a Hartford attack error. The Hawks answered with three straight points, only to see the Retrievers claim seven of the next eight to reclaim the lead. The seesaw battle continued though with Hartford running off four consecutive points for a 17-16 lead. After the two squads tied for the sixth and final time at 18-18, UMBC took advantage of Robbin Lee’s (Olney, Md./Sherwood) strong serving to win seven of the final nine points for a 25-20 set win.
The Retrievers carried the momentum into the second set opening up an early 5-2 lead and maintained it at 10-7 with a kill by Carter. Hartford rallied, however, and cut the lead to just two, 14-12, forcing a UMBC timeout. Coming out of the break, UMBC ripped off five straight to essentially end the set, and then finished it off on a kill by senior Katie Kelly (Diamond Bar, Calif./Diamond Bar) for a 25-15 win in the second set.
Hartford came out of the extended break by winning the first two points, but UMBC took control with 11 of the next 12 points to stake to an 11-3 lead. The Hawks finally won back-to-back points to close the gap to 16-7, but an Ali Loynachan (Whitby, Ontario/Sinclair) kill stymied the run. With UMBC leading 21-10, Hartford put together a run, but the hosts did enough to close out the match by winning the third set 25-18 on a kill from Kelly.
UMBC now heads to Long Island to close out its regular season at Stony Brook on Friday, Nov. 9. The Retrievers and Seawolves are set to begin at 3 p.m. at Pritchard Gymnasium.
- UMBC now leads the all-time series versus Hartford 20-2 and has won each of the last three meetings.
- The Retrievers also lead the all-time conference series against the Hawks, 18-2.
- Goc’s 12 digs lifts her career total to 981, the tenth-highest in school history.