ZOE BOWENS SERVES SEVEN ACES TO SEND UMES TO MEAC CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH WITH THREE-SET WIN OVER HAMPTON
Nov. 19, 2011
BALTIMORE -- The University of Maryland Eastern Shore will play for the MEAC Championship tomorrow as the Hawks shut out Hampton (25-20, 25-9, 25-19) to earn a berth in the conference title game. The Hawks, earning their 18th straight win to improve to 23-6, will seek their first ever MEAC volleyball title on Sunday.
After a pair of aces from Hampton's Lihi Elkayam, UMES earned a 3-0 run to take its first lead. Play went back and forth when at 10-10, the Hawks went on a 4-0 run including two aces from Zoe Bowens (Long Beach, Calif.) for a 14-10 lead. Following a Hampton point, UMES took five of the next six points including a pair of kills each from Ndidi Ibe (North Richland, Texas) and MEAC Rookie of the Year Saitaua Iosia (Long Beach, Calif.) for a 19-12 advantage, pacing the Hawks to an eventual 25-20 victory in set one. Ibe finished the set a perfect 5-for-5 in hitting.
UMES came out of the second set strong with the first three points, including a kill from Victoria Williams (Los Angeles, Calif.). At 4-2 UMES, the Maroon and Grey was once again paced by the serving of Bowens, going on a 7-0 run including three service aces from the senior plus two kills from Maline Vaitai (Salt Lake City, Utah). After a Lady Pirates point, UMES took four straight points, including an ace by Vaitai and solo block from Iosia, to go up by 12. A later 4-0 run with an ace and two assists from All-MEAC First Team Jessie Vicic (Cambridge, Ontario, Canada) plus a set-finishing 3-0 run with another ace and kill from Bowens gave UMES a 25-9 game two win for a 2-0 match lead.
The Hawks picked up where they left off in the second set by winning the first three points in the third game, started by All-MEAC Second Team Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa getting a kill. At 5-3 UMES, the Hawks took four of the next five for a 9-4 lead. Hampton pulled to within two at 10-8, where UMES won five of the proceeding six points, capped by Bowens's seventh ace, for a 15-9 lead. The Lady Pirates went on a 5-0 run to get within one. The Hawks kept the lead paced by kills from Iosia and Vaitai, when at 20-17 UMES, they went on a 3-0 run with a kill each from Iosia and Lea'Aetoa, leading to a 25-19 victory and a three set victory.
Bowens tied a career high with seven aces, matching her mark set against Coppin State on Oct. 17, 2010, adding five kills and four digs. Iosia nearly had a double-double, earning 13 kills and nine digs. Vaitai scored six kills with 12 digs and three blocks while Ibe also had six kills, adding a team high four blocks. Vicic almost had a double-double as well with 35 assists, her 25th match with 30+ assists, and nine digs.
Krista Kraskura led the Lady Pirates, who fell to 13-14, with nine kills and six digs. Mianna Armstrong got seven kills with four digs while Sonja Maksimovic picked up six kills and two blocks.
UMES will play the winner of the Florida A&M vs. Bethune-Cookman contest in the MEAC Championship match on Sunday at noon at the Physical Education Complex in Baltimore.