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UMBC dominates Binghamton in sweep

Claudia Lopez led a dominant UMBC performance with 43 assists, five digs, two kills, an ace and a block.

Claudia Lopez led a dominant UMBC performance with 43 assists, five digs, two kills, an ace and a block.

A stellar defensive performance by the UMBC volleyball team never allowed the Binghamton Bearcats to threaten them on Sunday afternoon. The Retrievers had 12 blocks, out-dug the Bearcats 53-43 and held them to just a .111 hitting percentage in their 25-16, 25-20, 25-16 sweep to even their America East record at 2-2.

Five different players has blocks in the game while both Ashley Ramos and Kristen Watson were routinely diving all over the court as they recorded 15 and 14 digs, respectively. Meanwhile, their offense was clicking as they out-killed Binghamton 45-27 and out-pointed then 60-33.

UMBC stormed out to an 8-2 lead in the first set with all eight points being earned. Franchesca Reed had two kills sandwiching a Zoya Trendafilova kill as UMBC took a 3-0 lead. Abbie Mirabella and Emily Panchak also each had back-to-back kills in a 4-0 run by the Retrievers.

The Retrievers never lost their lead. They actually never allowed the Bearcats to get back within four points the set of the set.

A kill by Ashley Ramos gave UMBC a 21-15 lead late in the first set. A service error gifted the Bearcats a point, but UMBC recorded four-straight points with two kills coming from Mirabella in the run to end the opening set.

Every kill by UMBC in the first set was assisted by Claudia Lopez. The sophomore assisted all but two of UMBC’s kills in the match and she loaded up the stat sheet with 43 assists, five digs, two kills, and ace and a block.

Binghamton started much better in the second set, taking an 8-4 lead, but superb passing by Lopez helped UMBC on a 5-1 run to tie the match at 9-9. Binghamton scored two more points to break the tie, but UMBC rattled off seven-straight points to take command of the set. Mirabella had two kills in the set, both assisted by Lope. Trendafilova also served and ace while Ashley Ramos and Reed assisted in a block to put UMBC in front 16-11.

Binghamton inched back closer to UMBC, but never could earn a tie. UMBC finished the set with four-straight points off two kills, an ace and block. Reed and Ramos each had kills assisted by Lopez and assisted each other on the block. Lopez served the ace.

UMBC had another strong start in the third set as they completed the sweep. Like in the first set, they scored the first three points, all off kills. They then extended their lead out to 12-7 with most of their points coming from kills and blocks. UMBC wasn’t gifted many points, they were just playing a level above the Bearcats.

A key five-point run for UMBC gave them an eight-point lead at 19-11.It was only a matter of time before them ended the set. They withstood a 3-1 run in an attempted at a comeback for Binghamton, but that ended quickly and UMBC scored three points in response. A kill by Emily Panchak put UMBC at the service line for match point. Binghamton saved the match point, but then committed an error to give UMBC the 25th point they needed to the victory.

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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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