Lowell, Mass. – The UMBC Volleyball (12-7, 4-1 America East) team beat UMass Lowell (5-14, 0-6 AE) in straight sets (25-22, 25-18, 25-20) on Sunday afternoon.
The Retrievers had a balanced offensive effort throughout the match, with Carmen Freeman (Memphis, Tenn./St. Mary's) recording a team-best nine kills, while Paola Rojas (San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico/Notre Dame), Franchesca Reed (Aurora, Colo./Grand View), and Ashley Ramos (Orlando, Fla./Liberty/Monroe JC) recorded eight kills each. Both Reed and Ramos hit .353 and Rojas hit .333 for the match.
"I am so proud of this team," said head coach Ian Blanchard "They continue to work hard to overcome the obstacles, and truly embody the 'next player up' philosophy."
The first set of the match was tight throughout, with neither team holding a lead higher than three at any point. UMBC had a key 7-2 run midway through the set to give them a 19-17 lead. The run included kills from Reed, Ramos, and Rojas. A Freeman kill would give the Retrievers the first set, 25-22.
UMBC took control in the second set, only trailing at 1-0 to begin the set. UMBC went on a 6-1 run to give them their biggest lead of the day at 16-8, which included kills from Ramos, Freeman, and senior captain Marissa Duncan (Ellicott City, Md./Mt. Hebron). Another 5-1 Retrievers run came to close out the set with two kills from Rojas and another set clinching kill from Freeman.
The third set opened with a pair of runs from both teams, with a 6-0 run from UMBC and a 4-0 run to respond from UMass Lowell. The Retrievers responded and took control of the set with a 5-1 run to put them up 11-6. A kill and an ace from Rojas helped spark the run.
The River Hawks would get to within four points six different times throughout the rest of the set, including a late 3-0 run to push the score to 24-20, but a Ramos kill would halt the run and give the Retrievers the set and the match.
UMBC returns home next weekend for conference matches against Hartford and Albany on Friday night and Sunday afternoon.