Washington, D.C. -- The UMBC volleyball team was seeking its third win of the young season but ran into Howard, and the Lady Bison handed the Retrievers a 3-1 defeat (25-15, 25-22, 22-25, 25-18) at Burr Gymnasium on Tuesday night. The match was Howard's 17th consecutive regular-season victory.
"I really like the fight in this team," head coach Ian Blanchard said. "Our ball control has been very solid. We have some inexperienced new athletes who are taking on the challenge of becoming Division I volleyball players. They have improved virtually every day in practice. I expect that they will continue to improve. We will continue to be more detail-oriented and practice to correct some of the mistakes we made this evening. However, Howard is a really athletic team that does a lot of things very well and their 4-0 record shows it. As a coaching, staff competitive matches like tonight give us an opportunity to see what our weaknesses are and to address those things in practice."
UMBC (2-2) fell behind Howard (4-0) early in the first set and never recovered. The Retrievers hit -.290 in the first set, while the Lady Bison didn't fare much better, hitting only .037.
In the second set, UMBC trailed 8-3, but rallied and eventually led 20-19. Then, Howard went on a 4-0 run to take control and win the set, 25-22.
The third set followed a similar pattern to the first two, as the Retrievers once again fell behind early, 17-12. However, they eventually rallied and won the set 25-22. UMBC ended the set on a 5-0 run.
Each team traded runs in the fourth set before Howard finally pulled away to close out the match.
Mirabella averaged 4.82 kills per set, 2.00 digs per set with a .295 hitting percentage, while Lopez had 9.33 assists per set and 2.11 digs per set in a 2-1 week.