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UMBC can’t overcome errors in loss to Albany

Redshirt Freshman Emily Panchak posted a career-high 25 kills against Albany but the team's 52 errors were too much to overcome in their four-set loss.

Redshirt Freshman Emily Panchak posted a career-high 25 kills against Albany but the team’s 52 errors were too much to overcome in their four-set loss.

Their 52 errors were far too many to overcome. The UMBC volleyball team out-pointed Albany 64-62 and out-killed then 56-47, but all of the giveaways helped the Great Danes to the 3-1 victory in the RAC on Friday night.

UMBC hitter Emily Panchak led all hitters with a career-high 15 kills while teammate Abbie Mirabella was just one behind her with 14 kills and 11 digs for the double-double. Sophomore setter Claudia Lopez also posted a double-double with 44 assists and 11 digs in the match; but the Retrievers could not overcome their own errors in the 22-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-22 loss.

The Retrievers had a strong first set, hitting .277 with 18 kills. They never trailed in the set. Three times Albany tied the set. The first time when it was 3-3, UMBC got some cushion with three-straight points off two blocks and a kill by Mirabella. The second time after it was tied at 6-6. The two teams exchanged kills to make it a 7-7 set, but four kills split between Panchak and Zoya Trendafilova gave the Retrievers an 11-7 lead.

UMBC wouldn’t lose the last in the first set after that. A bad set by Lopez helped Albany make it a two-point set at 13-11, but a 4-1 run with all four points coming from their own kills put UMBC ahead by five points. UMBC went to the line for set point with a 24-18 lead after Ashley Ramos smacked a kill off an assist by Lopez. The Great Danes saved set point four times to get back within two points, but a kill by Franchesca Reed gave the Retrievers the set.

But UMBC’s hitting would not stay up to that level. The five attack errors committed in the first set were their lowest through the match as Albany won three-straight to take the match, staying unbeaten through four conference matches in the process.

UMBC would take the first three points of the second set and fought in a title battled but a service error by Lopez, attack error by Trendafilova and ace by Albany’s Emily Zimmerman broke an 11-11 tie and gave the Great Dames a three-point lead. While the Retrievers would get back within one point a few times, they could not tie the match as an error by UMBC twice helped Albany take a two-point lead.

It was a ball handling error by UMBC that gave Albany set point as well.

The third set was another battle, but like in the latter part of the second set, Albany was in control; pretty much from the start.

UMBC did scored four-straight points with three coming from kills to tie the match at 9-9, but Albany created the necessary separation with four-straight points to take a 17-14 lead a bit later. Albany’s mini run was created by three-straight kills and an ace.

The set would get as close as 19-18, but five-straight points for Albany lined them up for set point. As service error would save set point for the Retrievers, but Albany responded with a block to take the 2-1 set lead.

And while the fourth set was still a battle, Albany would take it to win.

UMBC led 16-14 following a 5-1 run, but Albany stormed back with a 5-1 run of their own to go ahead 19-17. An error finally ended their run. Assisted blocks by Ashley Ramos helped UMBC re-tie the match at 20-20, but more errors cost UMBC. Albany got the lead back after an attack error by Franchesca Reed. Laini Leindecker followed with a kill before Mirabella got UMBC back within one points at 22-21, but a service error and attack error by UMBC put the Great Danes at the line for match point with a three-point lead. Panchak save match point once with a kill, but Chloe Evering finished the match for Albany with a kill.

After falling to 1-2 in America East play, UMBC will look to quickly rebound with a 1 pm match in the RAC against Binghamton on Sunday.

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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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