Baltimore, Md.—UMBC volleyball got another solid performance from freshman Makenzie Morgen (Appleton, Wisc./Appleton East) in a 3-1 win against the Bearcats. Morgen finished with 18 kills and 11 digs for another double-double as the Retrievers move to 8-10, 2-2 AE on the year.
"Makenzie and all our outside hitters played outstanding today," Head Coach Ian Blanchard said about the team after the win. "Our setters played well and did a great job setting up our swings."
UMBC took it to the Bearcats (4-15, 1-4 AE) in the opening set, gaining a 17-12 lead after a 6-2 run midway through the set. However the Bearcats would claw back, tying the set at 21 all late after back to back kills from Megan Burgess. The Retrievers would score the next four points to take the set, 25-21 after a big block by Liz Pronove (Elmhurst, Ill./York Community) and Krystal Williams (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech).
Binghamton would come out strong in the second stanza, taking a quick 3-1 lead, but the Retrievers would erase the deficit, pushing in front 13-9 after a Claudia Lopez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico/Academia Maria Reina) service ace. The Bearcats would retake the lead late after a service ace of their own made it 17-16. Errors would haunt Binghamton late, as they committed four errors late in the set, giving UMBC a 25-20 win and a 2-0 lead into the break.
The Bearcats came out of the break swinging, jumping out 10-6 early, forcing Head Coach Ian Blanchard to call a timeout. UMBC would try and climb back into it, but Binghamton would have an answer for each run by the Retrievers, and would win the set, 25-19 to make it 2-1 UMBC.
The final set saw the Retrievers dominate from the get-go. The Retrievers would take a 14-7 lead after a trio of Bearcat errors, and then take a 19-9 lead after kills from Morgen and Sherelle Walker (New Freedom, Pa./Susquehannock). The Dawgs would hold on to win the set, 25-17 and the match 3-1.
Morgen had another solid performance with 18 kills and 11 digs. Zoya Trendafilova (Sofia, Bulgaria/Elisaveta Bagryana), Williams and Walker each chipped in eight kills. Williams added five blocks in the contest.
"This was our most complete match all season," Blanchard said about the team's performance. "Carola (De Jesus) had a great match getting us into our system and played great defense."
Blanchard would go on to talk about the way his two freshman outside hitters, Morgen and Maddie Schneider (Olathe, Kan./Olathe Northwest) have continued to improve their game saying, "Mak (Makenzie) and Maddie have worked very hard to improve their blocking, and it is starting to show."
UMBC will head to New Hampshire (Friday, Oct. 16) and Hartford (Sunday, Oct. 18) next week to round out the first set of conference matches. Both matches will be streamed on americaeast. tv.