BALTIMORE – UMBC junior hitter Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales) and senior middle Emily Witsaman (Medina, Ohio/Medina) recorded ten and 11 kills, respectively, as the UMBC volleyball team swept its fifth consecutive match, getting past Coppin State in three sets (25-15, 25-16, 25-14), Saturday afternoon on the second day of the Maddie Bingaman Memorial Tournament at the RAC Arena.
Co-Tournament MVP Ali Goc (Oshawa, Ontario/R.S. McLaughlin) sent down six winners against the Eagles while leading UMBC (7-4) with 15 digs. For the weekend, the reigning America East Player of the Week registered 24 kills and 31 digs as the Retrievers swept each of their three contests. Witsaman also earned a spot on the All-Tournament squad after sending down 28 put-aways on .500 hitting.
Freshman libero Casey Griffith (King of Prussia, Pa./Upper Merion) was in double figures for digs for the ninth time in 11 contests this season, picking up 11 digs on Saturday. Senior setter Mallory McIntyre (Winnipeg, Manitoba/St. Mary's Academy) continued to keep the Retriever attack balanced, sending out 37 assists for a total of 102 helpers on the weekend and an 11.30 assists per set average.
Cindy Okpegbue put away 13 winners for Coppin State (3-8) to pace all hitters and help earn her a spot on the All-Tournament Team.
The hosts got off to a hot start, winning the first three points courtesy of two kills by Witsaman and one by Goc. Coppin rallied to pull even at 6-6, but could never grab the lead in the opening frame. Leading 12-10, the Retrievers ran off four consecutive points which lead to a 13-5 run, and the hosts went on to win the opener, 25-15.
In the second set, UMBC used another early run to pull ahead, and once again held off the visitors' charge. Witsaman was perfect in the set, recording four kills on four swings while Schmidt chipped in three winners. After the Eagles cut the lead to three, 19-16, UMBC won the next six behind the serving of senior Rebecca Garrigues (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif/Rancho Cucamonga), to win the set, 25-16.
Set three proved more of the same as UMBC jumped out to an early lead and never let up, earning the sweep. McIntyre sent out 11 assists to five different attackers in the frame to finish her weekend.
The Retrievers now have the midweek off from competition before traveling to Morgantown, W. Va. for the Gold and Blue Players Challenge at the University of West Virginia. UMBC will take on Liberty, Georgetown, and host WVU while in the Mountaineer State.
- UMBC improved its unbeaten record against Coppin State and now leads the all-time series 14-0-1.
- The Retrievers have now won their last 17 sets dating back to their five-set victory at Loyola (Md.) when they won the final two frames.
- UMBC is a perfect 4-0 against in-state opponents this season (1-0 vs. Coppin State; 1-0 vs. Loyola (Md.); 1-0 Maryland; 1-0 vs. Towson).