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Retrievers win Charm City Challenge, Hounds 2nd

UMBC volleyball

With a four-set victory over Delaware State the UMBC volleyball team swept the field to win the Charm City Challenge on Saturday afternoon at The RAC. Junior Abbie Mirabella led the effort against the Hornets with 18 kills while hitting .289. Tournament MVP Kristin Watson recorded 21 digs in the match and finished the three games with 37.

“We did a lot of really good things this weekend, and all of it started through Kristin Watson,” UMBC head coach Ian Blanchard said. “She was outstanding in both serve received and defense all weekend long. It is not often we get to recognize the huge importance of our defensive specialists. They all work so hard in practice every day. But no one outworked or out hustles Kristin. Her improvement between this season and last year is off the charts.”

With 94 assists in three matches sophomore setter Claudia Lopez joined Watson on the all-tournament team. Despite missing on match, Zoya Trendafilova was also named to the all-tournament team with 20 kills and three blocking assists in her two matches.

UMBC out-hit the Hornets .241-.096 as they recorded 71 points with 55 kills and eight aces in the match. Along with Mirabella, Brooke Hayden and Emily Panchak had double-digit kill performances with 11 and 10, respectively. After winning the first two sets, Delaware State extended the game by winning the third, but UMBC closed out the match for the 25-16, 25-21, 12-25, 25-17 victory.

“We discuss the importance of being able to play ugly in practice; being able to scramble, come up with tough swings in difficult situations,” Blanchard said. “I thought we were able to do that successfully this weekend. Often times the team that can better grind through the tough points wins the match.”

UMBC beat Loyola and Akron on the first day of the tournament.

The Greyhounds finished in second in the tournament with a 2-1 record after beating Akron 25-23, 25-20, 18-25, 25-21 on the second day.

Ann Ernst and Stacy Kazalas represented Loyola on the All-Tournament team. Ernst finished the tournament with 43 kills and 16 digs. Kazalas did not play in the team’s second match of the tournament but she finished with 13 kills combined in the two she played in.

Ernst recorded 24 of her kills against Akron.

The Greyhounds will host George Washington on Tuesday before both traveling to Yale to take part in the Dog Pound Challenge, where they will play Connecticut, St. Francis Brooklyn and the host Bulldogs. UMBC will host Morgan State, Winthrop and Robert Morris in the annual Maddie Bingaman Memorial Tournament next weekend.

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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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