BALTIMORE – Seniors Ali Goc (Oshawa, Ontario/R.S. McLaughlin) and Mallory McIntyre (Winnipeg, Manitoba/St. Mary's Academy), along with junior Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales), each recorded a double-double as UMBC defeated America East foe Providence in four sets (26-24, 25-18, 22-25, 25-22), Sunday afternoon at the RAC Arena.
McIntyre spread the ball around all day for UMBC (14-8, 5-2 AE), dishing out 51 assists as five different Retrievers recorded double-digit kills. Schmidt led all hitters with 17 winners while Goc, classmate Emily Witsaman (Medina, Ohio/Medina), and sophomore Krystal Mlemchukwu (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech) each sent down 12 kills. Sophomore Sherelle Walker (New Freedom, Pa./Susquehannock) got in on the attack with ten put-aways.
On the back row, Goc, Schmidt, and freshman Casey Griffith (King of Prussia, Pa./Upper Merion) all scooped up 18 digs with McIntyre contributing 12 digs in the win.
For Providence (11-13, 3-4 AE), setter Jordan Wiesler nearly equaled McIntyre by handing out 46 helpers, 15 of which went to Kayla Fitzgerald. Mackenzie Ziegler also reached double figures for winners with 13 put-aways.
The Friars turned away more balls than the Retrievers (9.0-5.0) and outhit the hosts (.220-.218), but UMBC recorded 15 more kills (65-50) and four more digs (82-78).
The Retrievers got off to a fast start, claiming a 9-3 early lead on a kill from Goc. Providence pegged back with three straight points to cut the lead to 9-6, but UMBC responded with an 8-1 run to build a 17-7 advantage with Walker putting the exclamation point on the streak with a kill assisted by Goc. The Black and Gold looked to be on its way to a quick first set victory, but the visitors chipped away at the lead, eventually pulling level at 24-24. The Retrievers sided-out on the next point, however, with a kill from Mlemchukwu and then a Friar attack error gave the hosts the opening set, 26-24.
In the second set, Providence staked to an early 4-3 lead on a kill by Ziegler, but four straight Retrievers points, the last two on back-to-back McIntyre aces, restored UMBC's lead, 7-4, one they would not relinquish. Late in the set, the visitors attempted another comeback, cutting the lead to two 20-18, but UMBC ran off five straight behind two kills from Goc, one each from Schmidt and Witsaman, and a Providence attack error for the 25-18 set win.
Out of halftime, the Friars took the first three points and did not let the Retrievers get into the set. Providence built a six-point lead on three occasions – 15-9, 17-11, and 18-12 – but UMBC made a game of it but cutting the lead to two, 23-21, courtesy of a block by Schmidt and Mklemchukwu. The visitors were able to force a fourth set, though, winning the third frame, 25-22, on a kill by Annie Russian.
UMBC was not to be denied, however, and came out of the gate in the fourth by winning each of the first four points. Providence trimmed the lead down to one, 8-7, but the Retrievers held their opponents at bay and eventually built a 15-8 cushion behind the serving of senior Robbin Lee (Olney, Md./Sherwood). Again the Friars rallied, but UMBC held the lead throughout and put the match away with one last kill by Witsaman.
UMBC now hits the road for a its lone match next weekend, taking on Stony Brook on Friday evening on Long Island. The match is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start.
- UMBC has now defeated Providence in four sets in each of the teams' last three encounters and now leads the all-time series, 10-2.
- Goc's double-double is her team-leading tenth of the season.
- With seven digs in the match, senior Hallie Carter (Huntington Beach, Calif./Edison) surpassed the 1,000-dig plateau for her career).