University Park, Pa. – Sophomore outside hitter Carmen Freeman (Memphis, Tenn.) had 19 kills and 14 digs, freshman Paige Krenik (Foothill Ranch, Calif.) added 13 kills and eight digs, and setter Krytsia Negrón (San Juan, Puerto Rico) added 40 assists as the UMBC volleyball team swept Eastern Kentucky (25-17, 25-20, 31-29) on Saturday at the Penn State Classic.
Freeman hit a robust .317 with two aces and a block, while Krenik hit .250 with two aces of her own. Negrón added six digs while Kristin Watson (Bowie, Md.) finished with a game-best 16 digs. Paola Rojas (San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico) finished with eight kills (.278) and five blocks, and junior Brooke Hayden (Mt. Airy, Md.) filled out the stat sheet with six kills, five digs and four blocks.
UMBC (1-2) cruised through the first two sets before falling behind EKU (0-3) early in the third. The Colonels seemed in control for most of the set, leading by as much as five at 17-12, before the Retrievers made a run and eventual got it down to 21-20 after an EKU error. The Colonels eventually took a 24-22 lead, but Freeman would get back-to-back kills to fight off the two set points.
The Retrievers would get a set point of their own, but an error would tie the match back up at 25, after Freeman was awarded a kill after a challenge overturned an out call, the teams alternated points until Krenik and Freeman got back-to-back kills to finally end the set and the match.
Both Freeman and Negrón were named to the All-Tournament Team.
No.6 Penn State swept the Retrievers in three sets (25-11, 25-21, 25-8) in the morning match. Freeman had a team-best six kills, while Watson chipped in 11 digs and Negrón added 13 assists. Freeman and Negrón each added six digs, while Watson contributed two aces.
The Retrievers travel to Nashville next weekend for the Bruiser Showcase at Belmont. They open on Friday with the host Bruins at 12:30 and follow that up with 5 p.m. matchup against East Tennessee State.