LOWELL, Mass. – Coming off a tough three-set setback on Friday night at UNH, the UMBC volleyball got back to its winning ways with a sweep of UMass Lowell in three sets (25-19, 25-13, 25-10), Sunday morning in America East action at the Costello Athletic Center.
Junior hitter Hannah Schmidt (Catonsvile, Md./Mount de Sales) sent down a match-best 11 kills while senior middle Emily Witsaman (Medina, Ohio/Medina) added ten winners for UMBC (17-10, 8-4 AE) who equals its conference record from last year.
Senior setter Mallory McIntyre registered her ninth double-double of the season by sending out 27 assists and picking up a match-high 14 digs. Classmate Ali Goc (Oshawa, Ontario/R.S. McLaughlin) was also in double figures by scooping up 12 digs for the Retrievers.
UMBC outhit UMass Lowell (0-24, 0-12 AE), .269-.088, while also recording more kills (39-22) and digs (48-39).
Anisa Smith led the River Hawks with seven put-aways as the Retrievers held UMass Lowell without a player in double digits for kills for the second time this season.
Looking to put Friday night's loss behind them, the Retrievers jumped out to a 3-0 lead, and then 4-1, on a kill by Schmidt. The hosts grabbed the next two points to cut the lead to just one, 4-3, but UMBC never allowed the River Hawks to draw level, using a 5-0 run, punctuated by a kill from sophomore Krystal Mlemchukwu (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech), to take the opening frame, 25-19.
The second set was close early with the two squads even on four occasions. After UMass Lowell again pulled within one at 10-9 courtesy of a Smith winner, UMBC ran off six straight and never lost consecutive points the rest of the way. On set point, freshman Ivana Kostic (Belgrade, Serbia/Srednja Skola Grocka) powered down one of her two kills to send UMBC into the break with a two sets to none lead with a 25-13 set win.
The Retrievers continued the momentum into the third frame, grabbing an early 4-0 lead after kills from Witsaman, Mlemchukwu, and Schmidt, in addition to a River Hawk attack error. Then, leading 5-3, UMBC ran off six of the next seven points, with Goc's winners putting the visitors up 11-4. UMass Lowell never got any closer the rest of the way as the Retrievers ran away with the final frame, 25-10, to complete the sweep.
UMBC continues its end of the season road swing next weekend with a contest at Providence on Friday evening before closing out the regular season at Hartford on Sunday.
- UMBC's 8-4 mark in America East play matches its best-ever record since joining the league in 2003.
- The Retrievers improve to 2-0 all-time against UMass Lowell after defeating the River Hawks in three sets in Baltimore back on Oct. 4.