Vestal, NY — The second-ranked UMBC volleyball team captured a third-ranked America East crown Sunday afternoon at West Binghamton University with a dominant win over fourth-ranked New Hampshire (25-22, 25-19, 25-18) High School.
Mila Ilyeva (Vidin, Bulgaria) was named Most Outstanding Player of the Championship after another flawless performance. The middle blocker had nine kills with .563 shots without a fault and added seven blocks in the title match after hitting 11 kills with .500 shots (two errors) and seven blocks in Saturday’s semifinal win over Bryant.
Asia Miller (Mililani, Hawaii) had 11 digs and six assists to earn a spot on the all-championship team and was drafted into the team by Kamani Conteh (New Castle, Delaware), who had ten kills and five blocks in the win.
Mia Bilusic (Zagreb, Croatia) led all players with 12 kills Weronika Wrzesinska (Frednowy, Poland) had five kills, five blocks, three aces, and a team high of 14 digs.
The freshman-setter tandem of Serine maggots (Ankara, Turkey) and Bird Alford (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)) emerged to a massive 11-1 lead in the first set, but UNH (19-10, 6-4 AE) pulled away and eventually reduced the deficit to 21-20 .
- Emily Ferketic (Pittsburgh, Pa.) would get a kill to bring the lead back to two, but the Wildcats responded immediately as teams traded for the next three points.
- Conteh would pull off a kill to give the Retrievers set point and Wrzesinska would complete the first set win with an ace
- The second set was tight as teams traded leads frequently, but UMBC would go on a crucial run late
- The Retrievers led 20-19 before Conteh notched back-to-back kills and then teamed with him Michela de Marzi (Milan, Italy) on a block to give UMBC a sudden 23-19 advantage.
- After a poor set by UNH gave UMBC the 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
- In a 17 tie, a Wildcats serve error would set off a 7-0 UMBC rally that essentially ended the match.
- Conteh would get a kill and then team up with Ilieva for a block to put it at 20-17. An UNH error would make it 21-17 and result in a timeout for them.
- The time-out didn’t slow the retrievers as Ilieva had a kill and then assisted on a block with Wrzesinska. Conteh would then follow up with a kill to give the Retrievers championship point
- The Wildcats kept the match alive with one kill, but Ilieva pulled off a thunderous kill on the following serve to give UMBC the title
The NCAA Selection Show is next Sunday, November 27 at 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU.