UMBC Set to Host Fifth Annual Maddie Bingaman Memorial Tournament; Play to Begin Friday Morning

Head Coach Ian Blanchard
Head Coach Ian Blanchard

BALTIMORE – The UMBC volleyball team will host the Fifth Annual Maddie Bingaman Memorial Tournament this weekend at the RAC Arena with play beginning on Friday morning.  In addition to the Retrievers taking on St. Francis (Pa.), NJIT, and Coppin State, Howard and Loyola (Md.) will participate in the two-day tournament.

All matches will be played at the RAC Arena on UMBC's campus according the schedule listed below.

Scouting the Retrievers

UMBC (4-4) is on a three-match winning streak after sweeping beltway rival Towson in three sets, Tuesday evening at the RAC Arena.  Senior middle Emily Witsaman (Medina, Ohio/Medina) returned to the court after nearly a year away to spark the Retrievers with six kills on just seven swings.  Classmate Mallory McIntyre (Winnipeg, Manitoba/St. Mary's Academy) dished out 31 assists as the Black and Gold hit .389 for the match.

Senior outside hitter Ali Goc (Oshawa, Ontario/R.S. McLaughlin), last week's America East Player of the Week, leads the balanced Retriever attack with 83 kills this season.  The former libero has also scooped up 90 digs, trailing only freshman libero Casey Griffith (King of Prussia, Pa./Upper Merion) who has recorded 123 digs for a 4.10 set average.

McIntyre, who is leading the America East with a 9.23 assists per set average, has plenty of options to choose from as junior Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales) as well as sophomores Krystal Mlemchukwu (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech) and Sherelle Walker (New Freedom, Pa./Susquehannock) have each recorded 60 or more winners this season.

Scouting the Red Flash

St. Francis (Pa.) (0-7) is winless so far this season after traveling to the Hokie Invitational in Blacksburg, Va. and the YSU Invitational for the first two weekends of the season.  The Red Flash took a set from host Youngstown State last weekend, but then fell in straight sets to Toledo and Tulane.

Freshman Hannah Kutny and junior Kayla Jeckell lead the Red Flash attack with 47 and 46 kills, respectively.  On the back row, junior Breanna Kochinsky has scooped up a team-best 72 digs.

All-Time Series

 UMBC leads the all-time series with St. Francis (Pa.), 10-3, after holding on for a five-set victory last season in Pennsylvania.  The teams first met on Oct. 2, 1987 with the Red Flash winning in four sets at the Akron Tournament.

Last season, the Retrievers jumped out to a two sets to none lead, but the hosts rallied to force a fifth set by winning the next two.  UMBC was able to regroup in the fifth and took the match with a 15-9 victory.  Sherelle Walker tallied a team-best 12 kills while Emily Vandegrift posted a double-double with ten kills and ten digs.

Scouting the Highlanders

NJIT (1-4) has dropped four straight, including a five-set contest versus Temple on Wednesday night, after winning its season-opener against St. Peter's.  Sophomore Fran Edmonson led the Highlanders' offense against the Owls, totaling 15 kills in the match.

Junior Camilla Tinari leads NJIT with 36 kills this season with Edmonson just behind with 33 put-aways.  Freshman setter Grace Gao has handed out 126 assists this year for a 7.41 assists per set average while junior Katie Goswick is averaging 5.08 digs per set.

All-Time Series

The Retrievers own a 2-0 lead in the series with NJIT, defeated the Highlanders in four set at home in 2007 and then sweeping the 2008 contest in New Jersey.

Scouting the Eagles

Coppin State (1-7) earned its only victory of the season by sweeping St. Francis (N.Y.) at the Hofstra Tournament on Sept. 1.  Since, the Eagles have lost five straight after getting swept by American on Wednesday evening.

Sophomore hitter Cindy Okpegbue paces CSU with 82 kills on the year, good for a 3.04 kills per set average, while junior Ariel Richard has notched 65 winners.  Sophomore setter Chelsee Sauni is averaging 9.00 assists per set and has sent out 252 helpers this season.

All-Time Series

The local rivals have met 14 times on the volleyball court since 1973 with UMBC holding a 13-0-1 advantage over Coppin State.  The teams tied in a two-set match in their first meeting at the MAIA Tournament, but the Retrievers have won all 13 contests since, including last year's match at the Battle at the Bay Tournament at Morgan State. 

Hannah Schmidt led UMBC in the sweep with seven kills, while Ali Loynachan and Emily Witsaman sent down six winners each.  Setter Paige Miller (Reading, Pa./Schuylkill Valley) sent out 26 assists for the Black and Gold while also picking up nine digs.

Tournament Schedule


10:00 – Loyola (Md.) vs. Howard

11:30 – UMBC vs. St. Francis (Pa.)

2:30 – Coppin State vs. Loyola (Md.)

4:30 – Howard vs. St. Francis (Pa.)

7:00 – UMBC vs. Howard


10:00 – Coppin State vs. St. Francis (Pa.)

12:00 – NJIT vs. Loyola (Md.)

2:30 – UMBC vs. Coppin State

5:00 – NJIT vs. Howard