Baltimore, Md.—UMBC volleyball will travel up to Connecticut for the canine- inspired UConn Dog Pound Challenge this weekend. The Retrievers are coming off a 2-1 weekend at the Robert Morris Invitational, which saw the Dawgs defeat the Colonials (3-0) and Loyola (3-1) before falling to Robert Morris in the finale, 3-2.
What: UConn Dog Pound Challenge
When: Friday, Sept. 4-Saturday, Sept. 5
Who: UConn, UMBC, James Madison, Bryant
Where: Gampel Pavilion-Storrs, Conn.
How to Watch: Live Stats available at uconnhuskies.com
Last Time Out:
The Retrievers went 2-1 at the Robert Morris Invitational this past weekend. The Retrievers picked up a 3-0 season opening win against the Colonials on August 28. The following day saw the Retrievers defeat cross-town rival Loyola (Md.) 3-1, before falling in the tournament finale to Robert Morris 3-2. Freshmen Maddie Schneider (Olathe, Kan./Olathe Northwest) and Makenzie Morgen (Appleton, Wisc./Appleton) earned All-Tournament honors.
Schneider was named America East Player and Rookie of the Week on Monday for her efforts at the invitational. Schneider posted 36 kills over three games, including a double-double in her first collegiate match. She recorded 17 kills and 11 digs in the first match against the Colonials.
Scouting the Huskies:
UConn comes into the weekend at 1-2 on the year, after knocking off America East foe Hartford, and falling to Rhode Island and Syracuse. Last season, the Huskies finished 12-19 with a 5-15 AAC record.
The Huskies are led by junior Jade Strawberry, who has laid down 30 winners at a 2.73 clip. Strawberry, the daughter of MLB great Daryl Strawberry, also has 25 digs and four total blocks on the year. Classmate Rebecca Rivera leads the team with 63 assists.
Scouting the Dukes:
Junior Janey Goodman will lead the 3-1 Dukes against the Retrievers on Friday. James Madison won their first three matches of the year, before falling to No. 4 Florida last Saturday.
Goodman has been a force on offense so far this season, laying down 52 kills at a 3.71 clip. Goodman has excelled on the defensive side of the net, digging out 46 balls with 15 total blocks so far.
Scouting the Bulldogs:
Bryant will enter the weekend at a perfect 4-0, as they rolled at home in the Hampton Inn-vitational this past weekend.
The Bulldogs have four players with more than 30 kills, with sophomore Vika Nesterov leading the charge with 39. Nesterov also leads the team with 101 assists and 40 digs.
The Retrievers and Huskies have met five times before this weekend, with the Huskies winning all five match-ups. The last time the two sides met, UConn came away with a 3-0 win in Storrs.
UMBC and James Madison have never met before. The Retrievers are 52-77-1 all-time versus CAA foes, including 33-38-1 against local rival Towson. The Dawgs are 8-26 against former America East foe Delaware.
The Retrievers will meet the Bulldogs for the first time on Saturday, with UMBC holding a 55-20 advantage all-time against Northeast Conference opponents.
Out of the Gates:
The freshman class has come in and made an immediate impact on the team. Freshman outside hitter Maddie Schneider (Olathe, Kan./Olathe Northwest) earned America East Player and Rookie of the Week on Aug. 31 for her performance at the RMU Invitational. Schneider finished with 36 kills and 17 digs. Fellow rookie Makenzie Morgen (Appleton, Wisc./Appleton) ended her first collegiate weekend with 35 kills, recording a double-double against Robert Morris.
UMBC will open their home schedule against local-rival Howard on Tuesday, September 8. First serve with the Bison is set for 7:00 p.m. at RAC Arena.
Make sure to follow UMBC Athletics on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @UMBCAthletics with the hashtag #GritAndGlory. Also be sure to keep up to date with UMBC volleyball on Twitter @umbcvolleyball with the hashtags #ForTheFam and #YearOfTheDawg.