Tucson, Ariz.—The Retriever volleyball team suffered a 3-0 setback against #20 Arizona on Saturday. The Wildcats got out of the gates early, taking the first two sets by a score of 25-11. UMBC finishes the Wildcat Classic 1-2, and drop to 5-7 on the year.
The Wildcats opened things up early, going on a 4-0 run to make the lead 10-4. With the score at 13-6, Arizona used a pair of kills and a block to open up the lead, and take a 16-6 advantage. The Wildcats only gave up five points from there, winning the opening set 25-11.
The second stanza saw much of the same, with Arizona jumping on the Retrievers early. The Wildcats jumped out to a 13 point lead, after some UMBC miscues. Arizona took the second set 25-11, taking a 2-0 lead in the match.
UMBC would not go away quietly. The Retrievers came out swinging, jumping ahead 4-0 thanks in part to kills from Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales) and Krystal Mlemchukwu (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech). Leading 16-11, Arizona would find their offense. The Wildcats erased the deficit after a trio of UMBC errors. From there, the set would go back and forth, with each team taking turns with the lead. However the Wildcats would strike last, closing out the third set on a 6-0 run to win 25-21, and the match 3-0.
Mlemchukwu led the way with eight kills. Schmidt chipped in five winners for the Retrievers, with Ivana Kostic (Belgrade, Serbia/Srednja Skola Grocka) and Sherelle Walker (New Freedom, Pa./Susquehannock) added four each.
"We made some improvements from the previous day. A lot of our athletes made improvements," coach Blanchard stated. "This was a good opportunity to play another top 25 team. This experience will only help us moving forward as we get closer to America East play."
The Retrievers return to the court on Friday, September 26, when they travel to our nation's capital to take on Howard. The match with the Bison is set to begin at 7:00 p.m.