Storrs, Conn.—UMBC volleyball defeated the Bulldogs, 3-1 on Saturday afternoon on the final day of the UConn Dog Pound Challenge. Senior Krystal Williams (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech) led the offense with 13 kills adding six digs.
"This was a good rebound for us today. We started off a little slow, but I was really pleased with how we grinded through it and picked up our focus and execution," Head Coach Ian Blanchard said about the match.
Both sides tried to get going early in the first, as the Retrievers (3-3) jumped out in front 10-4 after scoring six of seven points. The Bulldogs (4-3) answered right back, scoring seven of the next eight to retake the lead 12-11 forcing a UMBC timeout. Williams ended the run with a kill to tie the set at 12-12. UMBC would take control of the set after a trio of Bryant errors made it 16-13. Bryant would try to climb back, but the Dawgs held on for a 25-22 win.
Bryant would take control early in the second, extending their lead to 8-3 early on. The Retrievers scratched and clawed to within two after a Zoya Trendafilova (Sofia, Bulgaria/Elisaveta Bagryana) kill made it 9-7. However the Bulldogs would go on runs of 5-2 twice to win the set, 25-21.
Following the intermission, UMBC took control of the third set early, running out of the gates to a 7-2 advantage. The Retrievers kept their lead the whole way, never letting the Bulldogs closer than three points, winning the set 25-21 to take a 2-1 lead.
The final set was all Retrievers, as a pair of Marissa Duncan (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron) kills coupled with errors by Bryant pushed the Dawgs ahead 11-6. The lead would hold as UMBC took the set 25-18, and the match 3-1.
Williams had 13 kills and six digs to lead the charge. Freshman Maddie Schneider (Olathe, Kan./Olathe Northwest) posted ten kills with four assists and three aces for the Retrievers.
"Matches like today give us the opportunity to test our grit. I think it came down to playing more as a team," Blanchard said about the team.
UMBC will return to Baltimore for a match with local-rival Howard on Tuesday, September 8. First serve with the Bison is set for 7:00 p.m. at RAC Arena.