West Hartford, Ct. -- Paola Rojas (San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico/Notre Dame) set a career-high with 14 kills on a .684 hitting percentage to help lead the UMBC Volleyball team (9-6, 1-0) to a sweep of host Hartford (29-27, 25-21, 25-18) to open up America East Conference play on Friday night.
Carmen Freeman (Memphis, Tenn./St. Mary's) continued her strong play with another double-double, 12 kills and 11 digs, while Ashley Ramos (Orlando, Fla./Liberty/Monroe JC) was the only other player in the match in double figures, with 10.
"It was another great all around team performance. I am really excited about our team handles pressure," said head coach Ian Blanchard "If you look at our ability to get a sideout in those longer and closer sets, it is clear the team is playing to win and everyone is very confident in one another. The culture of our team is extremely suportive and our bench has never been more active. We still have areas in which we must improve, but when we pass the way we did tonight, our offense really clicks."
Hartford (2-11, 0-1) jumped out to an early lead in set one, leading by as much three points multiple times throughout the set. The Retrievers called timeout down 22-19 and proceeded to score four of the next five points to force a Hawk timeout. An attack error would give UMBC set point, but Hartford answered and the teams alternated points four more times until Ramos laid down a kill followed by a Hawk error to give the Retrievers the first set, 29-27.
UMBC then dominated the next two sets, including hitting .516 in the second set, to complete the sweep. Overall, UMBC outhit Hartford .348-.167, and won the dig battle 47-44.
The Retrievers now have nine days off before traveling to Long Island to face Stony Brook next Sunday, October 1 at 1 p.m. UMBC will then open up the home portion of the America East schedule by hosting Binghamton and Albany for homecoming on October 6 and 8.