Baltimore, Md.—The UMBC women's volleyball team heads north to open America East play at Stony Brook and Hartford. The Retrievers are coming off of a big 3-1 win at Howard last Friday, improving their record to 6-7.
Last Time Out:
UMBC comes into the weekend after knocking off Howard in four sets last Friday. The Retrievers got up early, 1-0, before the Bison evened the score. UMBC would not back down as they rattled off two straight set wins to take the match. Redshirt junior Krystal Mlemchukwu (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech) led the Retrievers with 17 kills. Junior Sherelle Walker (New Freedom, Pa./Susquehannock) chipped in ten kills and three blocks in the win.
Scouting the Retrievers (6-7, 0-0 AEC):
UMBC comes into the matches with Stony Brook and Hartford on a one game winning streak. The Retrievers are 2-2 in pure road matches this season, and 4-3 in neutral site games.
Krystal Mlemchukwu leads the team with 129 kills, good for 2.80 a set. Mlemchukwu has led the team in kills the past four matches, in which UMBC is 2-2.
Junior Paige Miller (Reading, Pa./Schuylkill Valley) paces the squad with 405 assists on the year. Miller sits in third in the conference with 8.80 assists per set.
Climbing the Charts:
Senior outside hitter Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales)climbed into tenth in all-time kills with 941, following her seven kill performance against Howard. She trails Kara Welniak by 14 for ninth place.
Freshman Abbie Mirabella (Hockessin, Del./St. Mark's) has started off her collegiate career with a bang. Mirabella has already garnered America East Rookie of the Week honors, while also leading the team in service aces. The rook has 21 aces so far this year, good for first in the conference.
The Retrievers have played 11 of their 13 matches this season away from the friendly confines of the RAC. In those 11 games (four away, seven neutral), UMBC is a combined 6-5 (2-2 away, 4-3 neutral). The Retrievers will finish up the year with six of their final ten matches coming at home.
During the non-conference portion of the schedule, the Retrievers traveled over 9,000 miles between all 11 matches away from the RAC. UMBC traveled to UMES for the Hawks Hullabaloo Tournament to open the season, before heading to the Rocky Mountains to take part in the BYU Tournament in Provo, Utah. Most recently, the team went to the Arizona desert to participate in the Wildcat Classic and finished up the road swing at Howard last weekend.
UMBC has taken on three teams that were nationally ranked so far this year. The Retrievers played then No. 10 BYU and No. 5 Washington at the BYU Invitational before taking on No. 21 Arizona at the Wildcat Classic.
Scouting the Seawolves (9-7, 1-0 AEC):
Stony Brook comes into the contest having most recently defeating Manhattan, 3-1, on Wednesday. The Seawolves got out to an early start and never looked back in the win.
Melissa Rigo leads the team with 161 kills, good for 2.82 per set. She has also laid down 11 service aces on the year for Stony Brook.
Nicole Vogel is the main setter for the Seawolves. Vogel has 465 helpers on the year, averaging 8.61 per set.
The Retrievers and Seawolves have met 23 times previously, including 22 times in America East play. Stony Brook holds a slim 11-12 (10-12) lead. The two sides split the season series last year, with each team winning at home. UMBC has had the advantage in recent meetings, having won three of the past four.
Scouting the Hawks (10-7, 0-1 AEC):
Hartford comes into the match having won their last match against Quinnipiac, 3-0, on September 28. The Hawks used a balanced attack to take down the Bobcats in straight sets. Maya Louis led the team with nine kills, adding three blocks for the winners.
Sareeta Nethersole leads the team with 211 kills, averaging 3.25 per set. Nethersole holds the top spot in the conference in both total kills and kills per set.
Jackie Tamburri has 618 helpers on the year, which also leads the conference in both total assists and assists per set (9.51). Tamburri has also laid down 13 service aces on the season.
UMBC holds a commanding 21-3 advantage in the all-time series with Hartford. The two sides did split the season series last year, with UMBC winning 3-1 at the RAC before falling in Connecticut 3-0. The Retrievers have been victorious in four of the last five matches, and had a streak of 14 in a row from 2004 through 2010.
On The Horizon:
UMBC returns to the friendly confines of the RAC on October 10 and 12 for their America East home openers. The Retrievers host UMass Lowell on October 10 at 5:00 p.m., before facing New Hampshire on October 12 at 1:00 p.m.