BALTIMORE – The UMBC volleyball team lost a heart-breaking 3-2 decision to visiting La Salle in the Retrievers' final non-conference match-up of the season. The Explorers came away with a hard-fought 25-18, 21-25, 25-19, 21-25, 15-13 victory.
UMBC dropped its fourth straight and slipped to 6-8 on the season, while La Salle snapped a three-match slide and improved to 6-10.
Retriever freshman Maddie Schneider (Olathe, Kan.) led her side with 17 kills and hit .387 on the evening. La Salle's Bryanna Davis led all players with 18 put-aways.
La Salle won sets 1 and 3, but UMBC bounced back each time to tie the match. The Explorers never trailed in the first set, hitting a blazing .409 to open the match. In the second set, UMBC went on a 4-0 run to break a 7-7 tie and held on down the stretch to even the match before the break.
The Retrievers used a 6-2 run to grab a 15-12 lead in the third set, but La Salle closed with a 13-4 run to take a 2-1 advantage. The Explorers were hitting .357 through three sets.
UMBC built an early 9-4 advantage in the fourth set, but La Salle battled back to trim the deficit to 21-19. But a poor Explorer pass and a kill by junior Zoya Trendafilova (Sofia, Bugaria) stopped the run and UMBC prevailed, 25-21, to send the match to a fifth set.
Neither side had more than a one-point lead in the deciding set until La Salle broke a 7-7 tie with back-to-back points. The Explorers built the lead to 12-8, but the Retrievers would get within 13-12 and 14-13. With Trendafilova serving, La Salle's Madison Kuch recorded her 10th kill to end the marathon affair.
La Salle hit a robust .323 for the match, while UMBC was well over its season average at .266. The Explorers out-aced UMBC, 13-8 and compiled 53 digs to 46 for the Retrievers.
UMBC freshman Makenzie Morgen (Appleton, Wisc.) was the other Retriever with double-figure kills as she posted 12. Classmate and reserve setter Krytsia Negron (San Juan, Puerto Rico) recorded 37 assists in four sets, while freshman libero Carola De Jesus (San Juan, Puerto Rico) led UMBC with 16 digs.
La Salle snapped a six-game losing skid to UMBC, but the Retrievers lead the series, 12-7.
The young UMBC squad fell to 0-4 in five-set matches on the campaign.
UMBC opens America East competition at Stony Brook on Friday, Sept. 25.