UMES COMES BACK TO DEFEAT NORTH TEXAS, SHUTS OUT ALABAMA STATE IN DAY ONE OF ASU INVITE
Sept. 15, 2012
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - It was another great day for UMES in non-conference competition. The Hawks started the ASU Tournament with a five-set comeback win over North Texas (25-21, 23-25, 18-25, 25-18, 15-13), finishing with a shutout victory over tournament host Alabama State (25-17, 25-15, 25-19) to improve to 12-1, increasing their winning streak to eight matches.
The Hawks came into the Dunn-Oliver Acadome at 10-1. North Texas stood at 10-4, making the Mean Green one of the toughest teams UMES has faced to this point of the season.
In the first set, kills from Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Bridget Ebster-Schwarzenberger (St. Veiberstrabe, Austria) gave UMES an early 2-0 lead. A pair of kills from Eboni Godfrey pushed North Texas ahead 4-3, eventually building an 8-5 advantage. The Mean Green went up 17-11 after a pair of Carnae Dillard kills and looked in control of the set. After a pair of Dillard attack errors and a May Allen dump kill, North Texas led 18-13, later 19-14. But the Hawks came alive off the serving of Jessie Vicic (Cambridge, Ontario, Canada), using an ace, a pair of Victoria Williams (Los Angeles, Calif.) kills and a Lea'Aetoa kill for a 9-0 run, taking a 23-19 advantage. UMES held off a pair of North Texas kills, with Maline Vaitai (Salt Lake City, Utah) blocking Courtney Windham on the final point to secure the comeback, winning 25-21 to go up 1-0.
North Texas started off strong again in the second set: after an Ebster-Schwarzenberger kill, the Mean Green went on a 4-0 run off Godfrey's serving for a 4-1 lead. Williams tried to get UMES back in the set early with strong kills, but North Texas stayed up 11-5 and later led 16-10. At that juncture, an Ndidi Ibe (North Richland Hills, Texas) kill and two straight Ebster-Schwarzenberger kills cut UMES's deficit in half to three. But the Mean Green rebuilt its lead to six on a 3-0 run for a 20-14 advantage. Another strong run by Vicic for UMES, starting with a dump kill and later a couple of aces, led the Hawks on a 5-0 run to pull within one. But UMES could not close the gap, getting within one a couple of times but falling short 25-23 for a tie in the match.
Play in the third set started back and forth as North Texas led early 5-4. Karissa Flack was strong in the middle, earning four consecutive kills, earning a fifth after a Carnae Dillard ace, to complete a 6-0 run for an 11-4 Mean Green lead. Kills by Vaitai and Williams brought UMES closer, but a 3-0 run by North Texas, started by another Flack kill, put up the Sun Belt team 14-6. UMES tried to get back into the set but the deficit was too large as the Hawks fell 25-18 in the third game to fall 2-1 in set play.
Vaitai paced UMES in the early going of the fourth set, earning three kills in the first six points to give the Hawks an early 4-2 lead. After a North Texas point, another Vaitai kill and a pair of attack errors gave UMES a 7-3 advantage. Off the serving of Analisse Shannon, the Mean Green won four straight to tie the game at seven. Back and forth play commenced when at 10-10, Ebster-Schwarzenberger earned a kill, followed by an ace by her and a combo block by Lea'Aetoa and Vaitai, led to a 4-0 run and a 14-10 UMES lead. A pair of Dillard kills brought North Texas within two, but the Hawks countered off the serving of Vaitai with four straight points, including a kill and block by Ibe, for a 20-14 lead. A couple of late kills by Ebster-Schwarzenberger contributed to the Hawks winning set four 25-18 and forcing a tiebreak game.
Each side was hitting its mark on attacks early in the final set. At 3-3, a Vaitai kill and Flack attack error pushed UMES ahead 5-3. But the Mean Green countered quickly, tying the set at five after a service error and Dillard kill. After an Ibe kill, a Dillard kill, two Shannon aces and a Flack kill gave North Texas a 9-6 lead. Acting head coach Eric Hammond called timeout for UMES at this juncture. After a Shannon service error, UMES got another rally on Vicic's serving, getting a Williams kill, Flack attack errors, Ebster-Schwarzenberger kill and a Kaci Eaton attack error for an 11-9 lead, capping a 5-0 run. The Hawks countered North Texas points with kills, going up 14-12 after an Ibe kill. After North Texas called timeout and got a Windham kill, Vaitai came through again with a kill in the middle, securing a 15-13 UMES set win and 3-2 match victory.
A number of Hawks set new UMES career highs in the match with North Texas, which fell to 10-5. Williams set a career high with kills with 19, as did Ebster-Schwarzenberger with 15. Vicic established a new career mark with 62 assists, while Megan Mueller (Manchester, Mo.) earned a UMES career high 12 digs.
That night, UMES returned to the Dunn-Oliver Acadome to take on tournament host Alabama State. A pair Williams kills gave the Hawks to early 2-0 advantage. Play went back and forth until at 8-6 UMES, the Hornets won five of the next six points, including three kills from Khyssnee Madison, to push the home team up 11-9. After an exchange of points, an Ibe kill, Williams ace and Lea'Aetoa kill pushed UMES back in front 13-12. The Hornets tied the game after a service error, to which UMES took the next six points, including three kills from Ebster-Schwarzenberger, to lead 19-13. Alabama State cut its deficit in half to 19-16, but a 3-0 run off the serving of Ibe and two late kills from Williams gave UMES the 25-17 set victory to go up 1-0.
At 1-1 in the second game, UMES earned four straight kills, two by Vaitai and two more by Ibe, to surge ahead 5-1. Shortly after, a 3-0 run by UMES, including another each by Vaitai and Ibe, pushed it ahead 9-3. The Hawks continued to dominate the set, as at 11-5 UMES, they rolled off five in a row, with Williams contributing a block and kill, for a 16-5 advantage. A 3-0 run by ASU at that point in the set was countered by a UMES 3-0 run as the Hawks now led 19-9, leading to a 25-15 set victory and 2-0 match lead.
The Hawks came out very strong in the third set, starting with a 4-0 run capped by an Ebster-Schwarzenberger ace. The Hornets got back to within one with help from two Myla Marshall blocks to get to 5-4. At 6-5 UMES, the Hawks rebuilt their advantage by taking five of the next six points, capped by an Ibe ace, to go up 11-6. Again ASU scored three in a row to pull within two, and against UMES responded with three straight to put the lead back to five. The Hornets earned late points, getting to within one at 19-18, but Emily Shannon (Cross Junction, Va.) served the Hawks to a late 4-0 run, contributing a personal ace, to guide the Maroon and Gray to a 25-19 set three win and shutout victory over Alabama State.
The late game victory marks the tenth match in a row that UMES has defeated a road tournament host, including the fourth win this year.
Four Hawks hit over .310 on the day, led by Williams, who finished with 31 kills to hit .362. She was the only Hawk to get double digit kills in each match, earning 12 against ASU. Vaitai finished with 30 kills to hit .344, adding 12 digs. Hitting .316, Ebster-Schwarzenberger concluded with 22 kills, three aces and 16 digs. Ibe had 17 kills combined and hit .344 with a trio of blocks. Vicic finished with 100 total assists, three aces and 13 digs.
Against UMES, North Texas was led by Windham's 19 kills off .500 hitting and three blocks. Flack also had three blocks, adding 13 kills, while Dillard tallied 13 kills and four digs.
Rachel Smith had the most kills for the Hornets, who fell to 0-14, in the late game with nine, adding four digs. Chelsea Scott had six kills, while Khryssnee Madison finished with five.
UMES will play another pair of matches tomorrow to finish the ASU Tournament, taking on Troy at 10 a.m. ET and later Jackson State at 4 p.m. ET.