VALPO TOPS UMES 3-0
Sept. 21, 2013
BUFFALO, N.Y. - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) completed its regular season tournament schedule on Saturday in Buffalo, N.Y. with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-14) loss to the Valparaiso Crusaders. UMES enters conference play next week with a 1-11 record.
Haley Robinson (Honolulu, Hawaii) led the Hawk attack with seven kills to just one error to hit an impressive .375 for the match. She added three digs and three block assists. Ashley Smith (Huntley, Ill.) added another four kills to go along with three block assists. UMES blocked 5.5 Valpo attacks but the Crusaders got the better of the Hawks at the net, blocking an impressive 10 attacks, including six block assists from Ellen Vanden Berg.
Aleksandra Manolova (Sofia, Bulgaria) played well for the second match in a row, blasting six kills, digging seven attacks and getting a solo block to help fill the stat sheet. Petra Jerabkova (Prague, Czech Republic) had another solid outing, adding four kills, 16 helpers, six digs and an ace.
UMES got solid defense again from Jingqiao Li (Beijing, China) who had a match high 14 digs. Allison Woods (Magnolia, Texas) added another nine digs. Sonia Rosales (Victorville, Calif.) had a dozen assists in the 6-2 offense to go along with five digs and a kill.
The Hawks and Crusaders went back and forth in the first set. The two teams were tied eight times but only traded the lead once. Just like the earlier match against Buffalo, UMES led almost the entire way. They took a 1-0 lead on a Valpo error and then never trailed until 33 points in.
UMES took a four point lead at 8-4 on a Jerabkova kill from the right side. A pair of Manolova errors cut it back to two but Jerabkova got another to make it 9-6. Valpo rattled off three straight points to tie it at nine but served it long to give UMES the lead back, 10-9.
The two teams traded points, with no one player serving more than twice. Jerabkova gave UMES the 16-14 lead before Vanden Berg got a kill. A UMES error tied the match at 16 and then Valpo's Sarah Dooms spelled a killed to give the Crusaders a 17-16 lead and force a UMES timeout. They traded points again until Precious Manu (Carson, Calif.) started serving. She got an ace to cut the lead to one at 20-21 and Valpo called timeout. The stoppage had no effect on Manu who drilled another act to tie the match at 21. Her third serve however resulted in a Dooms kill to give the Crusaders the 22-21 edge. Valpo made another error to tie it again at 22 before Kelsey Berrington got a kill to give Valparaiso the lead again, 23-22.
The final two points ended the match in disappointment for the Hawks as Jerabkova and Smith both committed attack errors with the latter going into a block to seal the set 25-22.
Set two saw UMES again start with a 1-0 lead. Like last set the lead changed hands just once, but this time they only were tied three times, the first at one all. UMES took the lead again on a Robinson kill but Valpo's Janelle Hobbs got a kill of her own to tie the set at two. A Crusader service error gave UMES the lead right back but Vanden Berg's kill tied the match for the third time, three all. Valpo took the lead on the next point on a Smith error and never relinquished it.
UMES got within one several more times but at 20-11 Valpo had stretched the lead out to nine. The Hawks regrouped and got a Jerabkova kill to put the serve in Woods' hands. She would get a pair of Manolova kills and a Valpo error to cut the lead to 20-15 and force a Crusader timeout. Woods returned to cut the lead to four, 20-16 on another Manolova kill. UMES went to the hot hand again on the next play but Valpo came up with the block to get the side out and lead 21-16. Valpo was up with set point just moments later at 24-17 but an error, followed by a Robinson kill and another error cut the lead 24-20 before Kelsey Victor got a kill to spell doom for the Hawks in set two.
Set three saw five ties and four lead changes, all within the first five points before ending in favor of Valpo 25-14. They pulled away to go on a 5-0 run followed by a 4-1 run to take a 14-6 lead and never looked back.
UMES returns home to Princess Anne to prepare for their conference opener with Delaware State on Friday, September 27 at 7 p.m. On the line is the nation's longest home winning streak, standing at 30 matches and dating back to 2009.