Storrs, Conn.—UMBC volleyball opened the UConn Dog Pound Challenge with a 3-2 loss to James Madison on Friday morning. Freshman Maddie Schneider (Olathe, Kan./Olathe Northwest) continued her strong start to her freshman campaign with a career high 19 kills.
"We competed hard. We had some moments where we lost focus, but as we grow and mature these areas will improve," Blanchard said about the match. "I am pleased with the progress and am excited about the potential this team continues to show everyday."
The opening set saw the Retrievers jump out ahead early, after a pair of kills from Krystal Williams (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech) and Sherelle Walker (New Freedom, Pa./Susquehannock) and a service ace from Makenzie Morgen (Appleton, Wisc./Appleton). Later in the set, the Retrievers would extend the lead to 10-7, but James Madison (4-1) would answer with a run to tie the set. The Dukes would take control of the set late, after back-to-back UMBC attack errors made it 19-16 JMU. They would hold on for a 25-21 win.
Set two saw UMBC take command from the get-go, leading 5-2 early. That lead was extended to 9-5 after back to back kills from Liz Pronove (Elmhurst, Ill./York Community) and Schneider forcing a JMU timeout. The Dukes would try to cut into the deficit, but the Retrievers had an answer for every run. The Dawgs held on for a 25-19 win, tying the match at 1-1.
The third set saw the Dukes bounce back, forcing an early UMBC timeout as they scored four of the first five points. The Retrievers would cut the deficit to 6-5 after a Schneider ace, and would later tie it on a Pronove kill. However, James Madison would control the set in the latter stages to win 25-13.
Facing a 2-1 deficit, UMBC came out of the gates in set four taking a 5-0 lead. The Dukes would respond, going on a 7-2 run to tie the set. From there, the set went back and forth with each team exchanging points. Schneider would be the deciding factor in the set, however, as she laid down seven kills in the set to lead UMBC to a 25-23 win.
In the decisive set, James Madison took control late, winning the last nine points to take the set 15-7, and the match 3-2.
Schneider finished the match with 19 kills, adding two aces and seven digs. Morgen finished with another double-double, laying down 13 kills and 17 digs. Pronove had a career high 12 kills.
The Retrievers are back at it at with a match against host UConn at 7:30 p.m.