UMBC Volleyball played their final two games of the season as they tried to set themselves up for a strong position going into the conference tournament. The Retrievers headed into these final two games in second place in the America East Conference, two games behind the University of New Hampshire. A chance for a share of the regular season conference title was still possible, but it would be hard to get for UMBC.
In match one, the Retrievers dominated Providence University, sweeping them in three sets, to improve to 9-4 on the conference season. After two close sets, winning both by just four points, UMBC unloaded on the third set, cruising to a 25-12 victory. Senior Emily Witsaman and sophomore Krystal Mlemchuku both put up double digit kills in the victory. Senior Mallory McIntyre lead the team with 38 of the 43 assists recorded in the game. Fellow senior Ali Goc also contributed nicely with nine kills and 10 digs in the win.
With New Hampshire winning their second to last game, UMBC could not win a share of the conference title and were heading into their matchup with the University of Hartford, looking for the number two seed in the conference tournament. The Hawks were trying to stand tall at home, even though they were eliminated from postseason play.
The Retrievers battled, but Hartford was able to come away with the sweep in three sets. UMBC played each one of those sets closely as Hartford’s largest margin of victory was four points. Goc picked up the only double double of the match for UMBC, with 10 kills and 13 digs. Witsaman, in her final regular season game, led the team with 13 kills.
A pair of younger Retrievers had solid performances in the final match of the season. Sophomore Sherelle Walker had 10 kills in the match, while freshman Casey Griffith had 19 digs. McIntyre kept up her consistent play by recording 38 more assists in her final regular season match. After a tough loss, the Retrievers fell to 9-5 to finish the conference season. UMBC was just ahead of Stony Brook University and University at Albany who both finished at 9-5 on the conference season.
The Retrievers won the tie breakers for the three-way tie, and were given the number two seed in the America East Conference tournament. They will face Albany in the semi-finals as they look to get to the finals and win their conference. The Retrievers have defeated the Danes both times they faced each other this season. It is challenging to beat a team three times in a single season. However, the Retrievers have the mental advantage of two wins in this match up. Should the Retrievers win, they will advance to face the winner of the New Hampshire and Stony Brook match. The Retrievers head up to Durham on November 22, as they look to take down their conference rivals.