Vestal, NY — The second-seeded UMBC volleyball team captured a third consecutive America East crown with a dominant sweep of fourth-seeded New Hampshire (25-22, 25-19, 25-18 ) Sunday afternoon west of Binghamton University. Gym.
Mila Ilieva (Vidin, Bulgaria) was named the most outstanding player of the championship after another flawless performance. The sophomore middle blocker had nine kills while hitting .563 without an error, and added seven blocks in the title match, after tallying 11 kills while hitting .500 (two errors) and seven blocks in the semifinal win over Bryant on Saturday.
Aysia Miller (Mililani, Hawaii) had 11 digs and six assists to earn a spot on the All-Championship team, joining the team for Kamani Conteh (New Castle, Del.) who had ten kills and five blocks in the win.
Mia Bilusic (Zagreb, Croatia) led all players with 12 kills, while Weronika Wrzesinska (Frednowy, Poland) had five kills, five blocks, three aces and a game-high 14 digs.
The freshman setter tandem They will be Maden (Ankara, Turkey) and Alford bird (Tallahassee, Fla) finished with 18 and 12 assists respectively. Maden contributed nine digs, while Alford added four.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- UMBC (17-8, 7-3 AE)) jumped out to a big 11-1 lead in the first set, but UNH (19-10, 6-4 AE) chipped away, eventually cutting the deficit to 21-20.
- Emily Ferketic (Pittsburgh, Pa.) would get a kill to cut the lead back to two, but the Wildcats answered right away as the teams alternated the next three points.
- Conteh would get a kill to give the Retrievers the set point, and Wrzesinska would complete the first set win with an ace.
- The second set was tight as the teams traded the lead frequently, but UMBC made a crucial late run.
- The Retrievers led 20-19 before Conteh hit two straight kills and then connected with Michela De Marzi (Milan, Italy) on a layup to give UMBC a sudden 23-19 lead.
- After a bad set by UNH that gave UMBC set point, Conteh and De marzi teamed up again for a block to give UMBC the set and a 2-0 lead.
- The third set was another tight one until a late run by the Retrievers
- With the score tied at 17, a Wildcats service error would set off a 7-0 UMBC rally that essentially put the game away.
- Conteh would kill and then connect with Ilieva for a block to make it 20-17. A UNH error would make it 21-17 and they would call a timeout.
- The timeout didn’t slow down the Retrievers as Ilieva had a kill and then assisted on a block with Wrzesinska. Conteh would follow with a kill to give the Retrievers a championship point
- The Wildcats kept the match alive with a kill, but Ilieva made a thunderous kill on the next serve to give UMBC the title.
The NCAA Selection Show is next Sunday, November 27th at 7:30pm on ESPNU.