BALTIMORE – UMBC junior Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales) tallied a season-high 17 kills to lead all hitters, but George Mason rallied from a set down to defeat the UMBC volleyball team in four sets (19-25, 25-23, 25-16, 25-12), Wednesday night in the Retrievers' home opener at the RAC Arena.
Schmidt also picked up a team-high 14 digs to records UMBC's first double-double of the season. Sophomore Sherelle Walker (New Freedom, Pa./Susquehannock) was also in double-digits for kills, notching ten put-aways for UMBC (1-3).
Senior setter Mallory McIntyre (Winnipeg, Manitoba/St. Mary's Academy) also recorded a double-double with 38 assists and 11 digs.
George Mason (1-3), who dropped all three contests at last weekend's D.C. Volleyball Challenge, was led by Lana Zonjic's 13 kills and Morghan Martin's 14 digs.
For the match, George Mason outhit UMBC .184-.064 while also recording 11.5 total blocks to the Retrievers' nine.
The first set was tight in the early-going with each team making mini runs. The visitors made the first run, pulling to a 6-3 lead, but UMBC cut right back and rallied to take a 12-10 lead on an attack error. Mason returned the favor by retaking the lead at 15-14, forcing a Retriever timeout. Out of the stoppage, UMBC won six straight points behind the serving of freshman Casey Griffith (King of Prussia, Pa./Upper Merion) to take a commanding 20-15 lead and never looked back, winning the set 25-19 on a kill by sophomore Krystal Mlemchukwu (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech).
The Black and Gold continued the hot play in the second set, building a 7-2 lead following a 5-0 run. UMBC maintained the lead through 11-6, but Mason rattled off five straight to pull even. Three consecutive Schmidt kills gave the hosts the lead again, and an attack error pushed the lead to 15-11. The Patriots slowly inched back yet again and took the lead at 18-17 on an error. Back-and-forth the teams went down the stretch and eventually George Mason won three straight after being down 23-22 to even the match with a 25-23 set win.
After the intermission, the Patriots came out swinging and staked to a 16-5 lead behind the hitting of Zonjic who tallied seven kills in the frame. For the period, George Mason hit .423 while limiting UMBC to a .091 hitting efficiency. The visitors only allowed the Retrievers to get within eight during the set and took the match advantage by winning the third set, 25-16.
In the final set, George Mason won 12 of the first 15 points and only permitted UMBC to win back-to-back points twice to close out the win 25-12 in the fourth.
UMBC returns to tournament play this weekend by heading across town for the Radisson Cross Keys Greyhound Challenge hosted by Loyola (Md.). The Retrievers will take on Delaware on Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Reitz Arena before playing a doubleheader on Saturday against the host Greyhounds and LaSalle.
- George Mason now owns a 21-5 advantage in the all-time series.
- The Patriots have won four straight meetings between the two clubs.
- Schmidt's double-double is her first of the season and 14th of her career.