Durham, N.H.— UMBC volleyball hung tough with the first place and two-time defending America East Champion New Hampshire, but the Wildcats took a 3-1 (17-25, 23-25, 25-19, 23-25) decision on Friday night. The third set win was the first set that UNH has lost in conference this season. Freshman Makenzie Morgen (Appleton, Wisc./Appleton East) and junior Zoya Trendafilova (Sofia, Bulgaria/Elisaveta Bagryana) led the charge with 13 kills each.
The Retrievers and Wildcats exchanged points early, but it was New Hampshire who went on a 9-2 run early in the set to take a commanding 14-6 lead. The Retrievers would try and rally late in the set, but the Wildcats held on for a 25-17 first set win.
UMBC jumped out quickly in the second stanza, racing out to a 7-3 lead, led by a pair of kills by Makenzie Morgen. Following the timeout by the Wildcats, UNH would cut into the deficit, tying the match at 10-10 early. Both sides would battle back and forth in the middle part of the set, but it was New Hampshire who scored the final three points to take the set 25-23 and a 2-0 lead into the break.
Coming out of the break, the Retrievers were determined to continue the match. The Dawgs used a Morgen kill and back-to-back attack errors to push ahead 9-4. They would maintain their lead through the middle stages, but a run by UNH brought it to within one, forcing a UMBC timeout. The Retrievers would hold on to win the set, 25-19.
The third set win by UMBC was the first set that New Hampshire has dropped in conference all season.
Both the Retrievers and Wildcats would jockey for the lead in the fourth, but late, New Hampshire would take the lead and ultimately win 25-23 and the match 3-1.
Morgen and Zoya Trendafilova lead the way with 13 kills each. Trendafilova hit a blistering .440 with eight digs. Morgen added 11 digs for another double-double. Freshman Maddie Schneider (Olathe, Kan./Olathe Northwest) reached double figures with 11 winners.
UMBC heads to Hartford on Sunday, Oct. 18 to close out the first half of America East play. First set between the Hawks and Retrievers is set for 1:00 p.m.