The UMBC Volleyball team continues its chase for a spot in the America East Tournament as it hosts Stony Brook and Hartford this weekend to close out the home portion of its 2019 schedule. The Retrievers will Stony Brook at 7 p.m. on Friday before closing the weekend with a 1 p.m. matchup with Hartford on Sunday. UMBC seniors Brooke Hayden (Mt.Airy, Md.) and Franchesca Reed (Aurora, Colo.) will be honored prior to Sunday's match.
Redshirt junior setter Taylor Dunn (Virginia Beach, Va.) made history on Tuesday as she became the first player in conference history to be named America East Setter and Defensive Specialist of the Week in the same week. Dunn had 35 assists and a career high 18 digs, and the offense hit .365 on her sets on Friday, November 1, as she led UMBC to an upset sweep at second place New Hampshire.
Freshman Kamani Conteh (New Castle, Del.) was honored as the conference Rookie of the Week after adding 12 kills on .300 hitting in the victory.
It was only the fourth time in 35 all-time meetings that UMBC swept UNH, and the first road sweep of them since 2006. The Retrievers (5-15, 2-5 AE) held the Wildcats to their worst hitting percentage vs an America East opponent since 11/22/13. Junior Carmen Freeman (Memphis, Tenn.) had a match-high 20 kills in the victory
Scouting Stony Brook
The two-time defending conference champion Seawolves (9-13, 4-3 AE) have won two in a row and three of their last four, including a home sweep of UMBC to start the run. The only loss in that time was a road sweep at the hands of New Hampshire.
Junior libero Kiani Kerstetter is leading the conference in digs per set in conference play (4.76) and is second in overall digs per set (4.18). Hayden, UMBC's libero, is just behind Kerstetter in conference digs per set at 4.69.
Liz Pulver, Kendra Harlow and Amiyah De'Long all have over 150 kills on the season to pace the SBU offense, with Harlow hitting an astounding .325 on the season. LeAnne Sakowicz is one of the top setters in the league, as she has 512 assists on the year and is averaging 8.26 assists per set.
The Hawks (13-11, 4-3 AE) are off to one of their best starts in program history and are led by defending America East Player of the Year Jenna Bridges. Her eight America East Player of the Week honors already this season are the most by an America East player in a single season.
Bridges, a middle blocker, is coming off another stellar performance, as she totaled 36 kills in two matches. SHE averaged 6.00 kills per set and boasted a .745 hitting percentage.
She has anchored the Hawks' offense, which leads the conference in hitting percentage (.252) and kills (12.98). She enters the week ranked atop the America East in hitting percentage (.398), kills per set (4.05) and points per set (4.59).