WEST HARTFORD, Ct.—The UMBC volleyball team defeated Hartford, 25-19, 23-25, 15-25, 25-21 and 15-6, Friday evening in a key America East matchup to remain in second place in the conference. With the win, the Retrievers improve to 10-14 and 6-3 in conference play, while the Hawks fell to 8-19 and and 3-7 in AEC play.
"We knew Hartford would be tough playing in front of a big crowd on senior night," UMBC head coach Ian Blanchard said "We played steady after falling behind 2-1, played smart and jumped on them quick in the fifth to finish the match."
The Retrievers were led by seniors Sabrina Hoeks (Olympia, Wash./AG West Black Hills), who had a game-high 18 kills and 16 digs, and Bianca Sande (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Torrey Pines), who hit .400 with five kills in the last two sets.
Junior setter Allie Spaay (Kenosha, Wis./Kenosha Tremper) directed the offense with 45 assists, while adding 13 digs, and freshman Emily Witsaman (Leesburg, Va./Loudoun County) led the team with seven total blocks.
For the match, the Retrievers outhit the Hawks, .124 to .062 and served 11 aces to Hartford's four.
In the first set with the score tied at 10, the Retrievers ran off nine straight points and cruised to a 25-19 first set win. In the second, the Hawks won three out of the last four sets to win 25-23.
The Hawks took the third 25-15, while in the fourth with the score tied at 21, UMBC won the last four points to extend the match.
In the fifth and decisive set, UMBC hit .462 and freshman Mallory McIntyre (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada/St. Mary's Academy) served three aces to propel the Retrievers to a 15-6 win.
The Retrievers return to action Sunday at America East foe Stony Brook at 1 p.m.