UMES CONQUERS TROY AND JACKSON STATE TO BECOME ASU INVITE CHAMPION
Sept. 15, 2012
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - UMES is the champion of the ASU Invitational after a Saturday sweep, taking down Troy in five sets (25-12, 20-25, 26-28, 25-18, 15-9) and Jackson State in three games (25-17, 25-18, 25-20) at the Dunn-Oliver Acadome to finish the tournament with four victories and improve to 14-1. The Hawks have now won their last 10 matches.
Troy fell to 8-6 after its match with UMES, while Jackson State dropped to 2-11.
The Hawks took on Troy in the first match of the second day of the ASU Tournament. The Trojans began the set with the first four points. UMES took two back off a Victoria Williams (Los Angeles, Calif.) kill and block. At 6-3 Troy, a 3-0 run started on a Bridget Ebster-Schwarzenberger (St. Veiberstrabe, Austria) kill tied the set at six. A UMES attack error gave Troy a 7-6 lead, but Maline Vaitai (Salt Lake City, Utah) countered with two straight kills for an 8-7 UMES advantage. At the 9-9 mark, the Hawks took total control of the set. Vaitai served UMES through a 6-0 run, including two Ebster-Schwarzenberger kills and a kill and block from Williams. After an attack error, the Hawks went on another run, scoring five points in a row off the serving of Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa (Salt Lake City, Utah). UMES ended the set on a 4-0 run to win the set 25-12 having won 16 of the final 19 points.
In the second set, a three-point run started by two Williams kills put UMES up 3-1. After an exchange of points, Troy went on a 6-0 run to go up 8-4. The Hawks recovered at 10-5 by taking four of the next five points, including aces from Jessie Vicic (Cambridge, Ontario, Canada) and Ebster-Schwarzenberger, to pull within two 11-9. But the women of Troy countered by winning five of the next six to go up 16-10, later using a 3-0 run off two Ali Dowdall aces for a 19-11 advantage. UMES did not give up, with Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa (Salt Lake City, Utah) contributing a couple of kills on a comeback attempt. After a Vicic ace, UMES was down 23-18. After a Blair Winston kill, the Hawks got two more points, but fell short and lost set two 25-20, evening the match.
Off the serving of Vaitai, the Hawks surged ahead in the third set with a 5-0 run, capped by kills from Ibe and Ebster-Schwarzenberger, for a 6-2 lead. A later 3-0 run, including two attack errors by Kayla Pickart, gave UMES a 10-4 lead. But at 11-5 UMES, the Trojans put together four straight points to pull within two. The Hawks rebuilt the advantage off a 3-0 run on a Vaitai kill, Ibe kill and Lea'Aetoa ace, to push ahead 14-9. Troy did not stay down for long however, as at 15-10 the Trojans took five straight points to tie the game. Each side had its run, with UMES taking four of the next five and Troy taking four of the following five to tie the set at 20. A Dowdall service error and Lea'Aetoa kill gave UMES the 22-20 advantage. The two sides traded points until a block by Breanna Cullity and Alicia Dukes combo block tied the game at 24. The Hawks had set point twice thereafter, but the Trojans defended until Troy got a final 3-0 run, started by two Pickart kills, to take the set 28-26, pushing UMES down 2-1 in the match.
Following Troy's opening point in the fourth set, Ebster-Schwarzenberger found her targets on her serve, contributing three aces in a 6-0 run to give UMES a 6-1 lead. Later at 8-5, Ibe scored three consecutive kills for an 11-5 advantage to UMES. Troy took two back, but the Hawks responded with four straight, including kills from Ebster-Schwarzenberger and Lea'Aetoa, to go up 15-7. Despite a 3-0 Troy run, UMES did not let its opponent get closer. Later, the Hawks took four of five points, assisted by a kill and block by each Vaitai and Ibe, to go up 23-16. The Hawks won set four 25-18 to force a tiebreaker set.
Each side exchanged a couple of points to begin the fifth set at 2-2. Then, off the serving of Megan Mueller (Manchester, Mo.), Troy committed three straight attack errors to give UMES a 5-2 lead. Again the two teams traded points when at 8-6 Hawks, UMES earned three straight kills, hit by Williams, Vaitai and Williams again, for an 11-6 advantage. Troy pushed back with two points to make it 11-8, but a 3-0 UMES run capped by a Williams and Ibe block sealed the game for the Hawks. An Ibe kill gave the Hawks the 15-9 fifth set win and victory over Troy, increasing the team's winning streak to nine-straight and giving UMES its third five-set win in as many opportunities.
That afternoon, UMES faced Jackson State in a matchup of the 2011 MEAC champion versus the 2011 SWAC champion.
In the first set, Lea'Aetoa started with a kill and block to give UMES a 2-0 lead. Play went back and forth until a Kameron Boggan kill and ace tied the score at six. At 9-8 JSU, Lea'Aetoa started a big run with a pair of kills, continued with an Ebster-Schwarzenberger ace. The Hawks took seven points in a row to go ahead 15-9, capped by a Lea'Aetoa and Williams combo block. Vaitai kept the Tigers at bay with three intermittent kills to push UMES up 18-13. Despite a late kill and service ace from current Tiger and former UMES player Christine Edwards, the Hawks finished the set with a 4-0 run to take game one 25-17.
Despite two early kills by Williams, Jackson State took an early 5-3 advantage in the second game, capped by a back row kill by Jasmine Knight. UMES countered off the serving of Ibe. After an Ebster-Schwarzenberger kill, Lea'Aetoa contributed three points in a row with a kill, block assist and another kill, continued by an Ibe ace, Ebster-Schwarzenberger kill and yet another Lea'Aetoa kill to compete a 7-0 run for a 10-5 UMES lead. Play went back and forth as the Hawks led by at least four the rest of the set. All told, Lea'Aetoa finished with seven kills in the set as the Hawks held off a late 3-0 run by Jackson State. UMES took the final three points on a Williams ace then a Lea'Aetoa ace and back row kill for a 25-18 win and a 2-0 match lead.
UMES got the early advantage in the third game, starting 6-3 after an Ebster-Schwarzenberger ace. The Tigers struck back with a 4-0 run, including kills from Mikayla Rolle and Edwards, to lead 7-6. After a Williams kill put UMES up 9-8, Vicic and Ibe blocked an Edwards attack twice in a row to push UMES up 11-8. A later 3-0 run, capped by two Vaitai aces, gave the Hawks the lead 14-9. But Jackson State came back of Edwards' serving, contributing a kill and two straight aces on a 5-0 run to tie the set at 14, taking the lead later at 16-15. Both side exchanged points when UMES took a 20-19 lead off consecutive kills from Ibe and Vaitai. LaTosha Scott earned a kill for the Tigers to tie the set at 20. At that juncture, the Hawks finished the match with five points in a row, capped by a Vaitai ace, to take set three 25-20 and win the match in a shutout.
UMES hit .386 as a team against Jackson State, hitting 43 kills with just 11 attack errors.
On the day, Williams led the Hawks with 28 total kills, hitting .327, with eight total blocks. Lea'Aetoa finished with 18 kills and 10 blocks on the day, including hitting .733 against Jackson State with 12 kills and just one error on 15 total attacks. Ibe tallied up 20 kills and six blocks, hitting .318. Vicic earned a double double against Troy with 53 assists and 17 digs, finishing with 91 assists on the day. Ebster-Schwarzenberger also had a double double against the Trojans with 12 kills, 14 digs and five aces, finishing Saturday with 19 kills, seven aces and 18 digs.
Leading Troy against UMES was Devin Von Pingel, who got nine kills and a pair of blocks. Cullity nearly got a double double with eight kills and 12 total blocks, while Alexandra Alexander did get one with 33 assists, 13 digs and three blocks.
For JSU in the late match, Edwards led all Tigers with 14 kills, three aces and seven digs. Knight earned five kills and an ace, while Jenna Siddiqui had 23 assists and four digs.
UMES will play in its final non-conference invitational next week as it heads to Bakersfield, California to compete in the Roadrunner Invite. The Hawks will face tournament host CSU Bakersfield on Thursday, September 20th at 10:00 p.m. ET.