UMES CRUSHES BETHUNE-COOKMAN 3-0 TO ADVANCE TO MEAC SECOND ROUND
Nov. 16, 2012
BALTIMORE - The Hawks cruised past MEAC Tournament first round opponent Bethune-Cookman 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-14) at the Physical Education Complex to move on to the conference semifinals. UMES improves to 26-5 overall, while Bethune-Cookman's season ends at 5-28.
The Hawks will next take on 3-seed MEAC North opponent Hampton, which defeated MEAC South 2-seed South Carolina State in three sets earlier in the day, at the Physical Education Complex in Baltimore.
Taking advantage of a few Wildcat errors, a kill by Saitaua Iosia (Long Beach, Calif.) capped a 4-1 start for the Hawks in set one. After the Wildcats got within one, kills by First Team All-MEAC Ndidi Ibe (North Richland Hills, Texas) and Iosia put the lead back to three. UMES stayed ahead of Bethune-Cookman by a couple until, at 11-9 Hawks, the team took the next three points, started by a kill each from Maline Vaitai (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Ibe, to push the Hawks up 14-9. Later at 15-11, UMES went on a 6-0 run off First Team All-MEAC Jessie Vicic's (Cambridge, Ontario, Canada) serving, including a pair of Iosia kills, for a ten-point lead for the Hawks. UMES took the set 25-15 to go up 1-0 in the match.
UMES started strongly again in the following set, beginning with winning five of the first six points. A Krysta Gardner kill and pair of UMES attack errors pulled the Wildcats back within one. Vaitai earned a kill and then served UMES through the next three points to give the Hawks a 9-4 advantage. A couple of Iosia kills and a Victoria Williams (Los Angeles, Calif.) built the UMES lead to 13-6. After falling in a pair of points for a 13-8 score, the Hawks did not allow back-to-back points for the remainder of the game. At 18-13 UMES, the Hawks earned a pair of 3-0 run, the second one including a kill and ace from Iosia, to seal the set. A Williams kill ended the game 25-15 and gave UMES a 2-0 lead in match play.
The third set started back-and-forth for each team. UMES led early 5-3, but Bethune-Cookman quickly closed the gap at 5-5. Later at 6-6, a Williams sideout kill and Iosia ace pushed UMES up 8-6. The Hawks held off Gardner kills to stay in the lead 10-9, following with a 3-0 run starting with a Vaitai kill to build a 13-9 UMES advantage, later going up 16-11 after a pair of Iosia kills. Following a Destiny Hudson kill, UMES won the next four points, capped by an Iosia ace, for a 20-12 lead. At 20-13, UMES won five of the next six points, starting with a Corey Haynes (Falls Church, Va.) kill and finishing on a 3-0 run from two Ibe kills and a game-ending Williams kill. The Hawks took set three 25-14 to sweep Bethune-Cookman and advance to the second round.
UMES hit .458 against the Wildcats, its best hitting percentage in a match this season. The Hawks had 42 kills with just nine attack errors in 72 total attacks.
Iosia hit .440 in the match, concluding with a match-high 14 kills, three aces and adding six digs. Williams hit .714 with 10 kills and no attack errors in 14 total attacks. Vaitai concluded with nine kills, two aces and six digs, while Vicic nearly had a double double with 39 assists and nine digs.
Gardner led Bethune-Cookman with 13 kills on a .440 hitting percentage. Janeen Davis got four kills and four digs, while Rhea Simon also had four kills.
In other action in the day, MEAC South 1-seed Florida A&M defeated tournament host Coppin State, the MEAC North 4-seed, in three sets.