Baltimore, Md. — UMBC returns to the friendly confines of the RAC Arena for another weekend of America East volleyball. The Retrievers will host Stony Brook on Friday and Hartford on Sunday. UMBC sits at 10-11, 4-4 AE on the year, and looking to get into a playoff spot with just four matches remaining.
The UMBC Marketing team will be giving away a Chipotle gift card to one lucky fan who has the best Halloween costume at Friday's (October 31) game.
On Sunday, November 2, the UMBC Drumline will perform at halftime of the Hartford match.
Last Time Out:
UMBC split their matches this past weekend on the final road trip of the year. The Retrievers fell to New Hampshire, 3-0, before sweeping UMass Lowell this past Sunday. Head coach Ian Blanchard picked up his 150th career win in the sweep against UMass Lowell.
Junior Krystal Mlemchukwu (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech) led the team with 23 kills over the two matches. Fellow classmate Sherelle Walker (New Freedom, Pa./Susquehannock) and senior Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales) added 17 and 13 respectively.
Scouting the Retrievers (10-11, 4-4 AEC):
UMBC comes into the matches at 10-11, 4-4 AE on the year, having split their last two matches with a win against UMass Lowell (3-0) and a loss to New Hampshire (3-0). The Retrievers are 5-5 in road games this year.
Redshirt junior Krystal Mlemchukwu (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech) leads the team with 221 kills, good for 3.07 a set. Schmidt is a close second with 180 kills, good for a 2.37 clip.
Junior Paige Miller (Reading, Pa./Schuylkill Valley) paces the squad with 690 assists on the year. Miller sits in fourth in the conference with 9.08 assists per set.
Welcome to the Club Hannah:
Senior outside hitter Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales) climbed into eighth in all-time kills with 1,018, following her 13 kills this past weekend. She trails UMBC great Rehena Rentuma by 46 for seventh place. Hannah also recorded her 1,000th kill against Binghamton back on October 19, becoming just the eighth Retriever all time to do so. Schmidt also sits in seventh place in career attempts with 2,991. She is just 181 away from sixth place.
The Retrievers have played 17 of their 21 matches this season away from the friendly confines of the RAC. In those 17 games (ten away, seven neutral), UMBC is a combined 9-8 (5-5s 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.
UMBC has taken on three teams that were nationally ranked so far this year. The Retrievers played then No. 12 BYU and No. 3 Washington at the BYU Invitational before taking on No. 15 Arizona at the Wildcat Classic.
Scouting the Seawolves (13-11, 4-3 AEC):
Stony Brook comes into the match with a 13-11 overall record, and a 4-3 conference mark. The Seawolves currently sit in the fourth and final playoff spot in the upcoming America East Championships.
Melissa Rigo leads the offensive attack for the Seawolves. Rigo has laid down 236 kills so far this year, good for a 2.81 clip. Both Kathy Fletcher and Evann Slaughter are approaching 200, with 199 and 196 respectively.
Nicole Vogel sets up the offense for Stony Brook. Nicole has dished out 713 assists on the year, good for a 9.03 per set clip.
This will be the 25th all-time meeting between the two schools. Stony Brook holds a slim 13-11 advantage over the Retrievers, including a 3-1 win earlier in October up in New York. However, UMBC has won the previous two matches played at the RAC, winning 3-1 in 2013 and 3-0 in 2012.
Scouting the Hawks (14-11, 2-5 AEC):
Hartford sits at 14-11, 2-5 AE on the year heading into the weekend. The Hawks most recently defeated MAAC opponent Quinnipiac on Tuesday, 3-0. The last America East matchup for the Hawks came back on October 24 against Stony Brook.
Sareeta Nethersole leads the attack with her league leading 338 kills. Nethersole is hitting at a 3.52 clip for the Hawks, and is one of five players with at least 100 kills. Katy Henchy (191), Corinne Horanzy (187), Kathryn Gawrych (161) and Chandler Goodwin (131) are the others.
Jackie Tamburri has been at the core of the attack all season. Tamburri has 922 assists so far this year, and will bring her league leading 9.60 assists per set average to the RAC on Sunday. Jackie has also had 20 service aces for the Hawks, the second most on the team.
The Retrievers hold a commanding 22-3 lead in the all-time series, adding to that total win a 3-2 win in Connecticut earlier this year. UMBC is 5-2 against the Hawks in the last seven meetings, including a 3-0 mark at the RAC over that span.
On The Horizon:
UMBC closes out the regular season against Binghamton and Albany at the RAC. The match with the Bearcats is slated for Friday, November 14 at 7:00 p.m. The Great Danes invade Baltimore on Senior Day on Sunday, November 16. The regular season finale is set for 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.