UMES BEGINS MEAC SEASON WITH ROUTE 13 RIVAL DELAWARE STATE
Team captain Maline Vaitai is set to lead the Hawks into the MEAC season.
Team captain Maline Vaitai is set to lead the Hawks into the MEAC season.

Sept. 24, 2012

Game Notes - UMES @ Delaware State

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DOVER, Del. -- The defending Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion and MEAC Northern Division champion UMES will begin league play with a match against its arch-rival. The Hawks head north up Route 13 to Dover to face Delaware State for their first conference contest, playing the Hornets at 7 p.m. at Memorial Hall.

Since 2006, UMES is 13-1 against the Hornets, with its only loss coming on the road in 2010. The Hawks come into the match at 14-4, and DSU, also playing its first MEAC match, stands at 3-8.

HAWKS DROP THREE MATCHES IN CALIFORNIA
UMES had a rough weekend in California to finish the non-conference regular season, falling in a trio of matches in the Roadrunner Invite: twice to tournament host CSU Bakersfield and once to Utah Valley.

Victoria Williams led the Hawks with 32 kills, hitting .258 over the weekend and earning a place on the All-Tournament Team. Ndidi Ibe had 16 kills and a team-high 10 blocks.

The opening loss to CSU Bakersfield snapped a 10-match winning streak for UMES as well as a 10-match winning streak against road tournament hosts.

TOP SERVING TEAM IN THE NATION
Going into last weekend, the Hawks lead all of Division I in aces per set, averaging 2.12 aces per game and totaling 123 in 58 sets. Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa stood at 16th in D-I with 30 aces for 0.52 each game, and Bridget Ebster-Schwarzenberger was 250th at 0.3 aces a set, totaling 12 in 40 games. UMES led all of D-I in aces per set in 2007, 2009 and 2010.

 

 

UMES IS THE TOP HITTING TEAM IN THE MEAC......
UMES is the top hitting team in the MEAC, earning a .237 hitting percentage so far in 2012, standing nearly 35 percentage points above second place Hampton at .203. Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa is leading the conference by hitting .332 with 115 kills and just 36 errors in 238 attacks. Three other UMES players are in the top-seven: Bridget Ebster-Schwarzenberger is 5th at .284, Victoria Williams moved to 6th after the weekend at .254, and Ndidi Ibe stands at 7th at .253.

...AND THE TOP DEFENSIVE TEAM IN THE LEAGUE
The Hawks have allowed opponents to hit just .175, over 20 percentage points ahead of second place Coppin State at .197. UMES averages 1.83 blocks per set, third in the MEAC, led by Ndidi Ibe's one block per set, third-strongest in the conference.

VAITAI APPROACHING 1,000-KILL CLUB
Maline Vaitai stands at 906 kills in her career, just 94 away from becoming a member of the 1,000-kill club. Vaitai had a season-high 21 kills in a five-set win over North Texas on September 14th. The 2010 MEAC Rookie of the Year had 407 kills as a freshman and 317 in 2011, currently standing with 182 this year. The UMES 1,000-kill club in the 25-point era includes Whitney Johnson (1,225) and Caylin Woodward (1,132).

VICIC TRYING TO BE UMES'S TOP ALL-TIME SETTER
Jessie Vicic, a member of the All-MEAC Preseason Team, is closing in on the all-time assists mark in UMES history. Currently, the sophomore stands at 1,902 assists, third all-time in Hawks history. Christina Estebané is currently the all-time leader with 2,233 assists from 2007-08, and Yael Rozner is second, getting 2,085 assists from 2005-06.

CALIFORNIA CRUSHER
Already surpassing her point total from her freshman year, sophomore right side hitter Victoria Williams has earned 159 kills, hitting .254, with 42 blocks, each mark second-strongest on the team. The Los Angeles native has earned a MEAC Player of the Week honor and eight double digit kill matches, including six of the last seven UMES matches. She finished with a career high 19 kills in the victory over North Texas, hitting .412 with only five errors in 34 total attacks.

IOSIA NAMED AVCA DIVISION I PLAYER OF THE WEEK
For the second time in her career, Saitaua Iosia was honored as the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I Player of the Week for the period ending August 26th. She is the only player in MEAC history to earn this honor. She had three double doubles in the SFC Terrier Invitational, finishing with 64 kills with a .357 hitting percentage and 47 digs.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENT:
Delaware State comes into Tuesday's match with a 3-8 record, having won its last match against La Salle in three sets to conclude its home invite. Interim head coach Kelly Carrigan is in her first season after taking over for Renee Arnold before the start of the year. The Hornets sport a MEAC third-best opponent's hitting-percentage at .216 and is second in blocks per set with 1.85 per game. Junior outside hitter Jessica Russell-Croucher leads the Hornets with 106 kills and 17 service aces. Hitting .326 to stand second in the MEAC in hitting percentage, junior middle blocker Brooke Redmon sports 65 kills and 26 blocks. The setter, senior Christobel Fakaosi, is fifth in the conferencewith 8.48 assists per game, totaling 339 this year.

ASU TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS
Going 4-0 in Montgomery, Alabama, the Hawks are the champions of the ASU Tournament after defeating North Texas and Alabama State on Friday, then Troy and Jackson State on Saturday. A number of UMES players set new career highs: Victoria Williams earned 19 kills against North Texas, Bridget Ebster-Schwarzenberger had 15 kills against UNT and five aces versus Troy, Jessie Vicic set 62 assists in UMES's opening match and Megan Mueller had 14 digs against Troy.

WVU GOLDEN HORSESHOE CHALLENGE CHAMPION
The Hawks won all three matches in the WVU Golden Horseshoe Challenge, including against tournament host and Big 12 Conference member West Virginia, to win their second invitational of the season. UMES defeated WVU in four sets, following up with wins against St. Peter's and Wright State. Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa was named MVP with 26 kills, while Victoria Williams and Bridget Ebster-Schwarzenberger earned All-Tournament Team.

HAWKS TAKE SECOND PLACE IN TIGER INVITATIONAL
The Maroon and Gray had a strong showing in the Tiger Invitational in Savannah last weekend, going 4-1 over the three days to take second place. UMES went 1-1 on the first day with wins over Southern Utah and a loss to New Mexico, ending with three straight shutout victories over UNC Asheville, Kennesaw State and tournament host Savannah State. Saitaua Iosia finished with 59 kills and 43 digs in the tournament, while Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa hit .324 with 35 kills and 13 service aces.

HAWKS WIN THE SFC TERRIER INVITATIONAL
UMES is the champion of the SFC Terrier Invitational after the Hawks swept the competition in the Big Apple, defeating NJIT, tournament host St. Francis (NY) and Radford, all in four sets, to begin the season at 3-0. Iosia led the Hawks with 64 kills and 47 digs, earning double doubles in all three matches. Ndidi Ibe and Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa each hit over .420 with at least 25 kills and 12 blocks each.

METIL - BEST COACH IN UMES HISTORY
Don Metil won his 100th match at UMES on September 30th, 2011 with a shutout victory over Alabama State. He also earned his 200th victory as a head coach on November 18th, 2011 after a five-set win over North Carolina Central. With the Hawks, Metil is the winningest coach in UMES volleyball history with a 131-43 record. Metil's first win in Division I came at Coppin State against UMES 3-2 on Sept. 25, 2005, while his first UMES win came against Coppin State 3-0 on Aug. 24, 2007. He has earned over 200 victories including stops at Notre Dame (MD), Lees-McRae and Coppin State.

UMES LONGEST ACTIVE HOME WINNING STREAK......
Winning their last 24 matches in Princess Anne, the Hawks have the longest home winning streak in Division I. UMES took over the top spot after previous the previous leader, Texas, lost to Minnesota on Sept. 7, 2012. UMES's last loss in the Hytche Athletic Center came on Sept. 26, 2009 with a 3-0 defeat from Sacred Heart. The first home match this season will be October 5th when the Hawks play Coppin State at 7 p.m.

......AND LONGEST ACTIVE MEAC WINNING STREAK
After a perfect MEAC regular season in 2011, UMES holds the longest conference winning streak at 12 straight league victories. UMES last fell in a MEAC match on September 7th, 2010 against Howard in Washington D.C. in straight sets. In addition, the Hawks have not lost a conference match at home since November 9th, 2006 when UMES was defeated by Morgan State in four sets. The Hawks have not been beaten by a MEAC opponent in the Hytche Athletic Center under Don Metil's tenure with UMES. . UMES MATCHES TO AIR ON WGOP
WGOP 540 AM and 100.7 FM returns as the flagship station of Hawks volleyball for its second season and will air all matches live on the radio this year. Dave Vatz returns for his third season with UMES and will provide play-by-play, with WGOP producers Suzy Rummel and Steve Pettit operating from the Pocomoke City studio. Fans can listen online on umeshawks.com.

2011 IN REVIEW
UMES had its best year in school history in 2011, earning its first-ever MEAC Championship and berth in the NCAA Tournament with a 24-7 record. After earning a share of the championship in the Bryant and Brown Invitationals, following up with being the outright champion of the UMES Hawk Invitational, the Maroon and Gray won all 12 matches in the conference regular season to win MEAC Northern Division for the fifth-consecutive year. After victories over North Carolina Central and Hampton in the first two rounds of the MEAC Tournament, the Hawks defeated Florida A&M in the championship for the title. UMES earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament, falling to 9-seed and eventual national champion UCLA in Los Angeles in the first round.