On Sunday, November 15th, UMBC Woman’s Volleyball hosted the New Hampshire Wildcats at the RAC to close out their regular season. The Retrievers’ Senior Night celebrated three capped volleyball players for UMBC: Paige Miller, Sherelle Walker and Krystal Williams.
A win against New Hampshire would give UMBC a .500 record, an above .500 record in conference play and a seat in the postseason tournament. The Wildcats, however, were playing for the first seed in the conference, and the opening set began with a spark for New Hampshire. They took a very early lead, and with dominating serve and net play, a final set score of 25-15 for the Wildcats.
The Retrievers opened up the second set with more stable footing, and kept it even until New Hampshire called a timeout with both teams even at nine. The Wildcats then turned up the heat, and the Retrievers had a number of unforced errors, allowing the Wildcats to expand their lead by up to eight within the set, before ultimately winning the set with a gentle block that landed calmly on the Retriever side.
The third set had plenty of back and forth play early on, and the Retrievers kept it close with some tenacious kills from Maddie Schneider and Makenzie Morgen. However, the sharper Wildcat side expanded the lead to six, and never looked like they were about to let it go.
Williams inaugurated her senior night with a trifecta of blocks in a row in the third set to help keep it close, but the Retrievers ultimately fell 21-25 from a calm dig by the Wildcats.
UMBC will miss out on the tournament despite a three-way tie for the third seed, and ends a long and hard fought rebuilding year for a program that did not shy away from introducing new blood this season.