Stony Brook, N.Y.—The UMBC volleyball squad dropped their conference opener to the Seawolves, 3-1, on Friday night. Freshman Paola Rojas (San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico/Notre Dame) led the team with a career high 13 kills. The Retrievers fall to 6-8, 0-1 AE on the year.
Rojas got out of the gate quickly in her first collegiate match, laying down a kill to open the first set. The opening frame saw the two squads battle back and forth in a closely contested battle. Stony Brook would jump ahead midway through, capitalizing on a few Retriever mistakes. The Seawolves took the opener, 25-19.
The second frame saw the Retrievers in a 10-4 hole early, but the team fought back. Following a service ace from sophomore Ivana Kostic (Belgrade, Serbia/Srednja Skola Grocka) and a trio of Stony Brook errors, junior setter Paige Miller (Reading, Pa./Schuylkill Valley) laid down a kill of her own to tie the set at ten all. Stony Brook battled back, cutting the deficit to one, but the Retrievers would hold on to take the second stanza, 25-20.
In the third frame, UMBC got down early once again, before fighting to tie things up. The Seawolves would capitalize late, going on a 5-0 run to take the pivotal third set, 25-19.
UMBC took control of a do or die fourth set, jumping ahead 6-1 forcing a Stony Brook timeout. The timeout would help the Seawolves, as Stony Brook finished the match on a 24-9 run. The Seawolves closed out the set, 25-15 and the match 3-1.
Rojas led the Retrievers with 13 kills, adding eight digs and four total blocks. Senior Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales) chipped in eight kills, while redshirt junior Krystal Mlemchukwu (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech) added seven winners. Miller had 35 helpers in the loss.
The Retrievers return to the court on Sunday, October 5 at Hartford. First serve with the Hawks is set for 1:00 p.m.