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Athlete of the Week: Krystal Mlemchukwu

By Subir Nigam

Staff Writer

The UMBC Volleyball team had a successful trip to Howard University this past week, defeating the Bisons 3-1. Redshirt junior Krystal Mlemchukwu continued her solid play as she paced the Retriever’s in the road victory. Mlemchukwu had 17 kills, three blocks, and a service ace.

As a middle blocker, Mlemchukwu uses her six foot frame to her advantage. She leads the UMBC squad in kills with 129 so far this season. An underrated aspect of her game is her service, as she is third on the team in aces.

The first set against Howard saw each team going on a bit of a run. Mlemchukwu stepped up for the Retrievers though, earning huge kills and blocks to help UMBC rally and take the set. Mlemchukwu and her teammates found themselves in a tough match, but even after dropping the second set they were able to win 3-1.

It was not only the fact that Mlemchukwu had 17 kills, but it was timing and impact that her kills had on the match. When UMBC found themselves in a bit of a rut, she was able to stop the bleeding and grab back some momentum. This victory ended a brief two-game losing streak and gets UMBC back on track as they begin their America East conference play.

Mlemchukwu has had a successful volleyball career since joining UMBC. She made the All-Rookie team her freshman year, as well as setting personal records for herself in kills (277), blocks (106), and block assists (95) just last season.

UMBC now sits at 6-7 on the season, and conference play is about to start. The Retrievers will take on Stony Brook University on Oct. 3 when Mlemchukwu and the rest of the squad hope to get a win streak going.