Mirabella Leads the Charge as Volleyball Sweeps Loyola

Mirabella Leads the Charge as Volleyball Sweeps Loyola

BALTIMORE— Junior Abbie Mirabella (Hockessin, Del./St. Mark's) posted a team-best 16 kills as UMBC scored its second victory of the day in the Charm City Challenge, beating cross-town rival Loyola (Md.) 25-16, 25-23 and 25-21.

Mirabella, last week's America East Player of the Week, had a .378 hitting percentage plus three aces and three digs. Setter Claudia Lopez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico/Academia Maria Reina) again piled up the assists, tallying 32 helps in the three-set match.

 "I am really happy with the way we put pressure on Loyola throughout the match," Head Coach Ian Blanchard said. "We are serving the ball really well, and I'm happy with the way we're passing it. We have gotten fantastic contributions from various members of the team throughout the early part of the season."

The Retrievers jumped out to a fast start in the first set, scoring the opening four points and never trailing en route to the victory. UMBC finished with a strong .382 hitting percentage in that set.

But the second set proved much tougher as both teams battled throughout. The set was even at 12 when Greyhounds scored five of the next six points before Blanchard called time-out.

The Dawgs bounced back after that but Loyola still held a 23-22 lead late. However, the Retrievers scored the final three points of the set, ending with a Mirabella kill to go up 2-0. The third set was a back-and-forth affair where UMBC pulled away late to complete the three-set sweep.

This victory improved UMBC's record to 4-2. The Dawgs now are 48-14-1 all-time versus Loyola (1-1).

UMBC plays its final match of the tournament tomorrow Saturday at 4 p.m. against Delaware State (0-5).