Baltimore, Md.—UMBC volleyball heads north this weekend to New York for a pair of matches against Albany and Binghamton. The Retrievers will face off with the Great Danes (6-11, 4-1 AE) on Friday at 7:00 p.m., and the Bearcats (5-15, 3-2 AE) on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
Last Time Out:
UMBC split their Homecoming Weekend matches, with a win against UMass Lowell (3-1) before falling to defending champion New Hampshire (3-0) on Sunday. Senior Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales) paced the attack, laying down 20 kills on the weekend. The senior vaulted her way into eight place on the all-time career kills list (988).
Scouting the Retrievers (8-9, 2-2 AEC):
UMBC comes into the matches at 8-9, 2-2 AE on the year, having split their last two matches at the RAC this past weekend. The Retrievers are 3-3 in pure road contests this year, compared to a 1-3 record at home.
Redshirt junior Krystal Mlemchukwu (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech) leads the team with 153 kills, good for 2.64 a set. Schmidt is a close second with 150 kills, good for a 2.42 clip.
Junior Paige Miller (Reading, Pa./Schuylkill Valley) paces the squad with 548 assists on the year. Miller sits in fourth in the conference with 8.80 assists per set.
Climbing the Charts:
Senior outside hitter Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales) climbed into eighth in all-time kills with 988, following her 20 kills this past weekend. She trails UMBC great Rehena Rentuma by 76 for seventh place, and needs just 12 more to reach 1,000.
Rojas En Fuego:
Freshman Paola Rojas (San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico/Notre Dame) earned America East Rookie of the Week honors on October 6. Rojas made a huge splash in her first two collegiate games, laying down a combined 22 kills against Stony Brook and Hartford. The rook also added 14 digs and four blocks last weekend.
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 13 of their 15 matches this season away from the friendly confines of the RAC. In those 13 games (six away, seven neutral), UMBC is a combined 7-6 (3-3 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 Great Danes (6-11, 4-1 AEC):
Albany comes into Friday's match having most recently defeating Hartford in five sets last weekend. The Great Danes got 16 plus kills from three separate players. This will be the third straight home match for Albany, and their fourth in the last six.
The Great Danes have four players with over 100 kills, led by Laini Leindecker. Leindecker has 213 kills on the season, and is hitting at a 3.13 clip.
Mikala McCauley will be the main set up man for Albany. McCauley has 530 helpers on the year, and is averaging 7.79 assists per set. Emily Lopes will also look to get in the mix setting up the offense. Lopes has just 102 assists on the year.
This will be the 29th all-time matchup between the Retrievers and the Great Danes. History has not been on the side of UMBC, as Albany holds a staunch 22-6 advantage in the series. However, the Retrievers have had the upper-hand of late, including a season sweep last year. UMBC went 3-0 against the Great Danes a year ago, including a 3-0 win in the America East Semifinals.
Scouting the Bearcats (5-15, 3-2 AEC):
Binghamton comes into the weekend after downing Stony Brook, 3-1 last Friday. The Bearcats got out to a quick 2-0, and held on to win in four sets.
Megan Burgess leads the Binghamton offense with 185 kills (2.61 a set). She is one of four Bearcats in triple digits on the year. Allison Hovie (160), Kristin Hovie (159, and Alexis Lagoy (152) are the other three with over 100 kills.
Amanda Dettmann handles the main setting duties for the Bearcats. Dettmann has amassed 688 assists on the season, averaging 8.94 per set. She trails just Taylor Dunklau (UNH)and Jackie Tamburri (Stony Brook) in the conference.
The Sunday matinee will be the 28th matchup between the two schools all-time. Binghamton owns a 16-11 lead in the series. UMBC and the Bearcats split the two matchups last year, with the Retrievers winning 3-1 at the RAC, and the Bearcats winning 3-2 in Vestal.
On The Horizon:
The Retrievers are back in action when they travel to New Hampshire (Friday, October 24) and UMass Lowell (Sunday, October 26). UMBC will get their chance at redemption against the Wildcats at 7:00 p.m., and have a chance for the sweep against the River Hawks at 1:00 p.m.