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Retrievers Return to Tournament Play at Cross-Town Radisson Cross Keys Greyhound Challenge this Weekend
Sophomore Sherelle Walker
BALTIMORE – Looking to get back on track after a four-set loss to George Mason in its home-opener, the UMBC volleyball team travels across town for the Radisson Cross Keys Greyhound Challenge this weekend, hosted by Loyola (Md.). The Retrievers take on Delaware on Friday at 4:30 p.m., before facing the host Greyhounds and LaSalle in a doubleheader on Saturday. All matches will be played at Reitz Arena on the Loyola (Md.) University main campus.
Scouting the Retrievers
Despite double-doubles from junior Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales) and senior Mallory McIntyre (Winnipeg, Manitoba/St. Mary’s Academy), UMBC dropped its home-opening match of 2013 to George Mason in four sets, Wednesday evening at the RAC Arena, to fall to 1-3 on the year.
Schmidt led all hitters with 17 kills in the match, a season-high for any Retriever in 2013, while McIntyre set a season-best by handing out 38 assists in the loss. McIntyre and Schmidt were joined by senior Ali Goc (Oshawa, Ontario/R.S. McLaughlin) and freshman Casey Griffith (King of Prussia, Pa./Upper Merion) in reaching double figures in digs with 13 and 12, respectively.
For the season, sophomore Sherelle Walker (New Freedom, Pa./Susquehannock) paces the Retrievers with 41 kills (2.93/set) after adding ten against the Patriots.
On the back row, Griffith has stepped right into the libero spot for the Black and Gold and performed superbly. The rookie has recorded double-digit digs in all four contests this season for a total of 50 and an average of 3.57 per set.
Scouting the Blue Hens
Delaware (0-3) did not play during the mid-week after dropping all three matches at the Pepperdine Asics Classic in Malibu, Calif. last weekend. The Blue Hens were swept in their season-opener by tournament host Pepperdine, and then dropped straight-set contests to Wisconsin and Iona as well.
Sophomore setter Mackenzie Olsen has spread the ball around, sending assists to eight different teammates. Classmate Katie Hillman leads the squad with 20 kills while senior Katie Hank and freshman Liz Brock have each recorded 17 put-aways. Sophomore Ariel Shonk paces the Hens with 35 digs.
Delaware leads the all-time series with UMBC, 25-8, but the Retrievers won the first-ever meeting between the two schools back in 1979 with a three-set victory (2-1) at the Navy Invitational. The two teams played each year from 1979-1994 and then resumed the series in 1996. Since then, UMBC and Delaware have only met five times with the Blue Hens taking three of the wins.
This is the first meeting between the teams since Nov. 11, 2008 when the Blue Hens swept UMBC in Newark, Del.
Scouting the Greyhounds
Loyola (1-2) earned its first win of the year by taking a five-set decision over Norfolk State last weekend at the Appalachian State Invitational. The Greyhounds started the season with a straight-set loss to the tournament-host Mountaineers and then dropped a four-set decision to Sam Houston State in its weekend finale.
After winning the first two sets against NSU, Loyola held off the Spartans with a 15-5 victory in the fifth set to secure the victory. Seniors Jac Bullock and Faye Lukas each recorded 13 kills in the win as junior setter Lauren Anderson dished out 47 assists. Junior middle Mindy Maloney turned away seven blocks (1 BS, 6 BA) as the Greyhounds registered 10 total blocks.
The Baltimore rivals have met 60 times since 1973 with UMBC holding a 45-14-1 all-time lead over Loyola. The Retrievers won the first ten contests in the series and then ran off 21 straight from 1993-2008 before Loyola won in straight sets at the 2010 Battle of Baltimore.
The Retrievers and Greyhounds most recently met two years ago at the Baltimore tournament with the Black and Gold avenging the loss from the year before in three sets. Eight different Retrievers recorded at least two kills in the match as Hallie Carter (Huntington Beach, Calif./Edison) led the team-effort with six kills and 11 digs.
Scouting the Explorers
After earning a three-set victory in its season-opener against Fairleigh Dickinson, LaSalle (1-4) has dropped its next four, falling in four-sets at Howard on Wednesday night. The Explorers also lost four-set contests to Lafayette, Sacramento State, and Bucknell.
Sophomore Kelly Perillo sent down another 13 kills against the Bison in D.C. to bring her season total up to a team-best 61 for the season. Classmate Laura Kuhlmeier has also been an offensive weapon for setter Rachel Melich, recording 45 kills in the first five matches.
Dating back to 1981, UMBC and LaSalle have meet on the volleyball court 17 times with the Retrievers holding an 11-6 advantage. UMBC is currently on a five-match winning streak in the series but the two squads have not met since 2007 when the Retrievers won on the road in three sets.
Retriever Stat Pack
vs. Ole Miss