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Retrievers sweep Bears to win fourth-straight

umbc-volleyball

Four home matches, four wins for the UMBC volleyball team as they kicked off their annual Maddie Bingaman Memorial Tournament with a 3-0 victory over Morgan State on Friday night.

UMBC out-pointed the Bears 51-30 and out-hit them .265-.110 on their way to a 25-15, 25-21, 25-17 sweep.

Junior Abbie Mirabella and senior Zoya Trendafilova combined for 24 kills in the match while sophomore setter Claudia Lopez assisted 29 in the match with eight digs.

“This as not our prettiest game, but I liked the way we grinded it out, especially when we found ourselves in a deficit late in that second set,” head coach Ian Blanchard said. “We made some changes to our lineup … in an effort to get a better look at certain players and specific positions as a coaching staff. That is what the pre-conference season is all about, giving us the opportunity to make some changes, and that provides us with a chance to do some analysis and see how effective the changes were.”

UMBC was just edging Morgan State on the scoreboard at 10-9 in the first set, but a 4-0 run by the Retrievers helped them create some separation. That run continued on to 6-1 as UMBC went ahead 16-10.

With three of the next four points going to the Bears to get the deficit back down to four, UMBC took complete control of the set after Lope assisted two kills by Mirabella that gave the Retrievers a 20-13 lead. UMBC closed it out to take the lead.

The second set was much different with Morgan State holding the late 21-18 lead, but UMBC showed their great resolve at the end of the set.

A service error by Monette Daniels gave UMBC a key point, some momentum and serve back. With Allie Stolz back for the serve, UMBC continued on to a five-point run to take the lead. Mirabella got a big kill and Stolz aced it to give UMBC a 22-21 lead before Mirabella followed with another big kill.

Victoria Turnbough blocked Mirabella’s next attack to give Morgan State another point, but Mirabella struck back again to give UMBC set point, which they got right away for the win.

The third set was all UMBC. After seeing a 4-4 tie early, Brooke Hayden recorded a kill and then set up for serve. She smacked four aces, including three in a row on her five serves to push UMBC out ahead 10-4.

Morgan State attempted a comeback but the deficit was too much to overcome. UMBC also had a late 5-0 run to get out to a 23-15 lead later and push forward for the sweep. UMBC will complete their tournament with two games on Saturday against Winthrop and Robert Morris.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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