HAWKS STORM BACK FROM DOWN TWO SETS TO DEFEAT HOWARD
Sept. 30, 2012
WASHINGTON - After dropping the first two sets, the Hawks came back to beat the Bison in five sets (18-25, 23-25, 25-19, 25-20, 15-8) at Burr Gymnasium to stay undefeated in conference play. UMES improves to 2-0 in-conference, taking first place in the MEAC North, and 16-4 overall, while Howard falls to 0-13 and 0-2 in league play.
The Hawks took sole possession of first place in the MEAC North after previous division leader Coppin State fell to Hampton on Sunday.
The Bison won four of the first five points to start 4-1 in the first set. Capped by an Emily Shannon (Cross Junction, Va.) kill and Stephanie Shultis attack error, UMES tied the set at five. The home team retook the advantage with four of the following five to go up 10-6. Hawks go back to within three at 11-8, but Howard went on an 8-0 run for a 19-8 lead. The teams traded points when at 24-13 Howard, Megan Mueller (Manchester, Mo.) tried to serve UMES back into the match, contributing an ace in a 5-0 run, but it was not enough as the Bison took set one 25-18.
Set two saw the return of Saitaua Iosia (Long Beach, Calif.) to the lineup for UMES. The Hawks took the first two points on a Maline Vaitai kill followed by an Ndidi Ibe (North Richland Hills, Texas) and Jessie Vicic (Cambridge, Ontario, Canada) combo block for a 2-0 lead, building it to 4-1. Howard got back into the set, tying the game at nine. UMES responded with a Vaitai kill and two straight kills from Ibe. After a Megan Lagerlef kill, an Iosia kill and Destinee Harrison attack error pushed UMES up 15-11. The Bison took four straight to tie the game at 15. UMES got back its two-point lead off a Corey Haynes (Falls Church, Va.) ace to go up 18-16. After Howard tied it up at 18, three consecutive kills by Victoria Williams (Los Angeles, Calif.), Vaitai and Ibe put UMES up by three at 21-18. But the Bison came back to tie the set at 23, taking the final two points to win 25-23 and go up 2-0 in the match. UMES had not fallen in the first two sets in a match yet this season.
UMES won the first two points of set three, finished by a Vicic ace, but Assata Conway served Howard through a 4-0 run for a 4-2 Bison lead. After the Hawks tied the score at five, each side traded points. At 9-8 Howard, Vaitai earned a kill, then Elli Steiner (Hallwang, Austria) served three consecutive times, including an ace, to give UMES a 12-9 advantage. Again the sides exchanged points with UMES maintaining a lead. At 19-17, Iosia hit a pair of consecutive kills, followed by a Vicic ace and Shultis error for a 23-17 UMES advantage. Later kills by Iosia and Vaitai gave UMES the set 25-19, pulling the Hawks closer in the match 2-1.
A Howard service error and another Vicic ace gave UMES an early 2-0 lead in the fourth set. The Bison followed up by taking four of the next six points to tie it up at four. Later as UMES led 8-6, Howard retook the lead with three straight points for a 9-8 home team advantage. At 11-10, Shannon earned a kill to tie it up. Then Iosia had a long serving streak, with assistance from a pair of kills and a block from Williams and a kill and block from Shannon, finishing with an ace on an 8-0 run to push UMES up 18-11. The Bison fought back to pull within two at 22-20, but a pair of Iosia kills and a Conway error finished the set in favor of UMES 25-20, forcing a fifth set tiebreaker.
Iosia and Shannon each earned kills in the first two points to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead. The Bison took the next two, and an exchange of points put the scorer at 3-3. UMES earned a big 3-0 run, sandwiched by Shannon and Vaitai kills, for a 6-3 Hawks lead. Following a Shultis kill, the Hawks earned another 3-0 run, finished by a kill and block by Ibe, to surge ahead 9-4. UMES did not allow a pair of points in a row again in the set, as at 12-8, a Shannon kill, Skyler Arbuckle attack error and combo block by Shannon and Williams ended the match. UMES took the final set 15-8 to complete the comeback, giving the Hawks a 3-2 win over Howard.
The Hawks are now a perfect 5-0 in five-set matches this season, outscoring their competition 75-50 in tiebreaker sets in 2012. Three matches, against Southern Utah, Troy and Howard, saw the Hawks win the final set by at least six points.
Vaitai finished with a double double for UMES with a team-high 19 kills, adding 13 digs and a block. In her return, Iosia also earned a double double with 16 kills and 14 digs. Ibe picked up eight kills and four blocks, while Vicic tallied 55 assists, three aces, eight digs and two blocks.
Arbuckle led the Bison with 12 kills and four blocks. Shultis concluded with seven kills, eight digs and 21 assists, while Harrison had a match-high nine blocks with a pair of kills.
UMES will come back to Princess Anne for its home opener on Friday, October 5th when the Hawks face Coppin State at the Hytche Athletic Center at 7 p.m.