Volleyball Stuns Host Belmont in Five Sets; Splits on Friday

Volleyball Stuns Host Belmont in Five Sets; Splits on Friday

Nashville, Tenn. -- Freshman Paige Krenik (Foothill Ranch, Calif.) had her first career double-double with 12 kills and 11 digs and sophomore Carmen Freeman (Memphis, Tenn.) also had a 12 kill double-double, finishing with 10 digs, as the UMBC Volleyball team stunned tournament host Belmont in five sets (25-23, 23-25, 25-23, 19-25, 15-10) on Friday afternoon in Nashville.

UMBC (2-3) had major contributions from the entire starting lineup, as Krytsia Negrón (San Juan, Puerto Rico) finished with a double-double of her own, combining 41 assists and 11 digs while Kristin Watson (Bowie, MD) finished with a match-high 26 digs.

After the first two sets were back-and-forth affairs, Belmont (0-6) appeared to be in control in the third, leading 19-14, however Franchesca Reed (Aurora, Colo.) and Brooke Hayden (Mt. Airy, Md.) would power a 6-0 run to put the Retrievers up a point. The teams alternated points until back-to-back kills from Krenik and Freeman put UMBC up 24-22. The Bruins fought off one set point, but an error on the following point gave UMBC the set.

Belmont took an early lead and never looked back in taking the fourth to force a deciding fifth set.

Paola Rojas (San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico) began what turned into a huge set for her with a kill to put UMBC up 2-1. After the teams traded attack errors, Rojas and Negron had back-to-back kills to push the lead to 5-2. After a service error, the Retrievers would go up 6-3 after winning a breath-taking 45 second rally capped off by a Freeman kill. The Bruins would close to one point at 8-7, but the Retrievers would go on a run, highlighted by three straight kills from Krenik and two consecutive blocks from Rojas to win the set and the match. Hayden finished with eight kills and 16 digs, while Kristin Watson (Bowie, Md.) finished with 26.

UMBC battled defending Southern Conference Champion East Tennessee State before falling in three sets (27-25, 25-16, 25-17). The Bucs (4-1) entered the match having defeated Clemson in four sets last weekend and sweeping Tulsa earlier this morning. The Retrievers (2-4), just two hours removed from their five sit win, fought valiantly, but ran out of gas. Rojas had nine kills and four blocks, Freeman also had nine kills, while Negron had her second double-double of the day with 32 assists and 11 digs. Watson had 10 digs, Krenik had eight kills and eight digs, while Negron also added three blocks.

The Retrievers close play in the Bruiser Showcase with a noon EST match against Tulsa.