Baltimore, Md.—UMBC volleyball will travel down I-95 to our nation's capital for the American Classic, hosted by the American University Eagles this Friday and Saturday. The Retrievers will look to continue their winning ways, after capturing the Maddie Bingaman Tournament this past weekend.
What: American Classic hosted by American University
When: Friday, Sept. 18-Saturday, Sept. 19
Who: UMBC, American, Virginia, William & Mary
Where: Bender Arena – Washington, D.C.
How to Watch: Live Stats available at aueagles.com
Last Time Out:
The Retrievers (6-5) won the Maddie Bingaman Memorial Tournament this past weekend, going 3-0. UMBC defeated Morgan State in the opener, 3-1, before downing Fordham and Coppin State 3-0.
Senior Krystal Williams (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech) earned a spot on the all-tournament team, posting ten or more kills in each game. Freshman Carola De Jesus (San Juan, Puerto Rico/Academia Maria Reina) was named MVP for her solid performance on the back line, digging out 37 balls and adding 13 assists.
Scouting the Cavaliers (5-3):
Virginia is 5-3 on the year, and is coming off a 1-3 weekend at the Alabama Tournament this past weekend. The 'Hoos are 1-1 in neutral site matches, and 1-2 in true road matches.
The Cavaliers are led by senior Kayla Sears, who is one of three players with at least 90 kills. Sears leads UVA with 97 winners, while fellow senior Natalie Bausback and junior Haley Kole have 91 each. Lauren Fuller sets the tone on offense with 333 assists, averaging 10.09 per set.
Scouting the Eagles (6-4):
American sits at 6-4 on the year, and have won three straight . The Eagles did not drop a set at the Columbia Invitational this past weekend in wins against Northeastern, NJIT and Columbia. American has played one of the tougher non-conference schedules in the nation, having played three ranked teams so far, including No. 4 Florida (L, 1-3) and No. 25 UCLA (L, 0-3) and No. 17 Hawaii (L, 0-3).
Senior Allison Cappellino paces the Eagle attack with 90 kills on the year, averaging a team-best 2.81 per set. Cappellino also leads the team with seven service aces. Classmate Monika Smidova has 295 helpers, good for 8.94 a set.
Scouting the Tribe (5-5):
The Tribe comes into the weekend at 5-5 overall out of the CAA. William & Mary took two of three at the ECU Pirate Invitational this past weekend, defeating Western Carolina, 3-2, and Hampton, 3-1.
Senior Dessi Koleva leads the front line with 92 kills, averaging 2.19 per set. Freshman Katie Kemp serves as the main setter for the Tribe. Kemp has 170 assists, good for 5.00 a set.
UMBC and Virginia will meet for just the second time all-time. Virginia took a 2-1 win back in 1983.
The Retrievers and Eagles have met 36 times all-time, with American holding a 25-11 lead in the series. The Eagles have won the last nine, dating back to 1997. The last Retriever win was back on October 1, 1996 in D.C. where the Dawgs won, 3-0.
William & Mary and UMBC have met seven times before, with the Tribe holding a 5-2 lead in the series. However, the Retrievers won the most recent match, 3-0 at the Penn Invitational back in 2011.
Welcome to the Show Rook:
Head Coach Ian Blanchard has 11 freshmen on the 2015 squad, and many of them have come in right away and made an impact. Maddie Schneider (Olathe, Kan./Olathe Northwest) and Makenzie Morgen (Appleton, Wisc./Appleton East) are leading the team in kills with 106 and 99 each. Libero Carola De Jesus (San Juan, Puerto Rico/Academia Maria Reina) has been a stalwart on the back line, digging out a team-best 120 balls, while adding 36 assists and five aces. Several other freshmen have seen significant time including Krytsia Negron (San Juan, Puerto Rico/Colegio Adianez), Liz Pronove (Elmhurst, Ill./York Community), and Allie Stolz (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield).
America East Recognition:
Freshmen Maddie Schneider (Olathe, Kan./Olathe Northwest) and Makenzie Morgen (Appleton, Wisc./Appleton East) have earned America East Rookie of the Week honors this year, with Schneider also earning Player of the Week honors.
UMBC will host La Salle in the non-conference finale on Tuesday, Sept. 22. The Retrievers and Explorers will meet at the RAC at 7:00 p.m.
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.