Baltimore, Md.—UMBC volleyball will travel up to Connecticut for the canine inspired UConn Dog Pound Challenge this weekend. The Retrievers are coming off a 2-1 weekend at the Robert Morris Invitational, which saw the Dawgs defeat the Colonials (3-0) and Loyola (3-1) before falling to Robert Morris in the finale, 3-2.
What: 7th Annual Maddie Bingaman Memorial Tournament
When: Friday, Sept. 11-Saturday, Sept. 12
Who: UMBC, Morgan State, Coppin State, Rider, Fordham
Where: RAC Arena – Baltimore, Md.
How to Watch: Live Stats available at umbcretrievers.com
The tournament is played in honor of Madison Bingaman, a recruit who was tragically killed in an automobile accident prior to her arrival on campus. The tournament, now in its sixth consecutive year, honors Madison and her family.
Last Time Out:
The Retrievers fell in their home opener, 3-1 to Howard on Tuesday night. Freshman Maddie Schneider (Olathe, Kan./Olathe Northwest) led the way with 18 kills, adding in ten digs in the loss. UMBC took the first set, before the Bison came out and won the next three sets to take the match.
Senior setter Paige Miller (Reading, Pa./Schuylkill Valley) paced the offense with 28 assists in the loss.
Scouting the Bears (1-7):
Morgan State comes into the tournament with a 1-7 record, with their lone win coming against Chicago State last weekend. The Bears defeated the Cougars 3-0 behind 16 kills from senior Arianna Hayden.
Hayden leads the team with 57 kills on the year, hitting at a 2.46 clip. Carmen Fernandez sets the table on offense with 131 assists. Fernandez is averaging 5.70 assists per set.
Scouting the Rams (3-5):
Fordham is 3-5 on the young 2015 campaign, and the Rams are 3-2 in their last five matches. Most recently, Fordham knocked off Manhattan, 3-1 on Tuesday. The Rams fell in set one, but rattled off three straight set wins to take the match.
Breanna Jones leads the team with 77 kills, averaging 2.96 per set. Her 49 digs are good for second on the team. The Rams have a pair of players with over 100 assists, led by Abigail Konovodoff with 135. Clarissa Cartledge is the other with 121 assists.
Scouting the Broncs (4-4):
Rider comes into the weekend at 4-4, having just defeated Iona to open MAAC play on Wednesday. The Broncs have played a familiar foe in UMass Lowell twice already this year, beating them twice.
The Broncs are spearheaded by Catie Harding and Kaitlyn Griffin, who have 85 and 84 kills respectively on the year. Brandie Hill and Veronica Koval are the centerpieces for the offense with 171 and 138 assists respectively.
Scouting the Eagles (0-6):
Coppin State will make the cross-town trek at 0-6 on the year, having most recently competing in the Hampton Inn Waco North Baylor Invitational. At the invite, the Eagles dropped three matches to Cal Poly, Sam Houston State and host Baylor.
The Eagles are led by Cindy Okpegbue, who has laid down 58 winners thus far. Her average of 3.05 is the best on the team, as she has also hit two service aces. Chelsee Sauni leads the team with 140 assists, averaging 7.37 per set.
The Retrievers hold a 56-11-3 record against the three teams they play this weekend. UMBC is 39-2 against Morgan State, 14-2-1 against Coppin State, and 3-0 against Fordham. The lone two losses against the Eagles came last year at the Maddie Bingaman Tournament (3-0) and the Wildcat Classic (3-2).
UMBC will head to Washington, D.C. for the American Classic, held by American University next weekend. The Retrievers will play top-level competition in American, Virginia, and William & Mary. UMBC will kick off the classic against Virginia at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, September 18.
Make sure to follow UMBC Athletics on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @UMBCAthletics with the hashtag #GritAndGlory. Also be sure to keep up to date with UMBC volleyball on Twitter @umbcvolleyball with the hashtags #ForTheFam and #YearOfTheDawg.