I once again traveled to Quinnipiac University this past weekend. The irony is that I attended the Quinnipiac Invitational and never actually saw Quinnipiac themselves due to the scheduling situation. Nonetheless I had a chance to see the Rider Broncs, as well as the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) Retrievers again, fresh off their victory over Providence the day before. As I comment on volleyball I still have much to learn and I hope to talk more about defense someday, but right now it’s easier for me to follow the offensive plays, which is not in anyway meant to diminish the vital role the defense plays in this fast paced game.
Game one started out with a long rally, but Rider took the point. The game went back and forth until UMBC’s Sarah Fillmore knocked the ball over the net, The Broncs couldn’t recover from the ending up slamming into the ceiling and the score was UMBC 6, Rider 5. At either 7-5 or 8-5, there was a long rally, but the Retrievers won the point. Rider would then come back to win the next two points and make it 8-7. UMBC’s Fillmore spiked the ball over the net in the next point and Rider couldn’t touch it. Fillmore and Rider’s front line defenders battled back and forth throughout the day. UMBC knocked the ball off the ceiling during another rally, but recovered only to have the Broncs return the ball hard to win the point. Rider’s Lindsay Brant spiked it into the UMBC zone and they couldn’t get to it as well in a following rally to win the point. With the score 14-11, Rider’s Amanda Piccolini served it over the net and UMBC couldn’t return it for an Ace, and then she pulled off another one on the next serve to make it 14-13. UMBC’s Angela Anderson would put a stop to Rider’s scoring run with a kill. With Pam Jarret serving, the Retrievers picked up several points to pull out to a 19-14 lead broken up when UMBC knocked the ball out of bounds. Rider would not build upon the 14 because UMBC’s Bianca Sande knocked the ball over the net and Rider’s defense didn’t reach it. The next time she hit it over but the Broncs knocked it out of bounds during the return attempt. Rider’s Katelyn Thompson would respond with a spike nailed off of UMBC’s and Katrina Stehle also of Rider would follow it up soon afterward, to continue a Rider comeback leading them to 23-19. The 19th point being scored when Rider’s Kristy Love blocked Anderson’s hit. The Broncs and Retrievers would go back and forth a bit with the score rising to 26-21 UMBC including Sarah Fillmore blocking Rider’s Brant, though Kristy Love would follow that by knocking the ball through a block to make it 26-22. UMBC’s Anderson would spike it over untouched for the kill to make it 27, Sande picked up the 28th point with a shot over the net that Rider couldn’t return. And Britney Hodson followed suit to make it 29-22. A big rally followed at game point and The Broncs picked up the point when Fillmore hit into the net. Hodson would hit it off of the Rider defense to score the Retrievers the win though. UMBC won the first game 30-23.
Game two began with UMBC’s Britney Hodson spiking it over the net untouched for the first point. Rider’s Brittany Hayes returned the favor knocking the ball off the UMBC defenders to make it 1-1. Hodson used a light touch to drop the ball in on Rider and win the next point for UMBC. But Rider’s Katelyn Thompson’s attack was blocked out of bounds by the Retrievers on the next point to even it up at 2-2. UMBC’s Bridget Scheetz ended a rally with a hard kill untouched by the defenders to make it 3-2. UMBC responded serving it into the net, but Scheetz would spike it off the defenders to regain a point. Another service into the net would tie it back up at 4-4. Both Rider and UMBC would come up with a big block to win a point and it would soon be 5-5. UMBC would tack on a pair of points, but Lacey Johnson would hit a pair of shots over the net which the defense couldn’t return in succession to win two points back. Maryland Baltimore County’s Fillmore and Anderson would respond with two straight untouched kills spiked over the net to bring it to 9-7. UMBC would gain a pair of points on The Broncs knocking the ball out of bounds, and Hodson would add a point of her own dropping the ball between the defenders. Rider would fight back with another point, as well as Amanda Piccolini serving it and UMBC knocking the return out of bounds to make it 12-9. On the next rally, Baltimore Country’s Sabrina Hoeks would make a diving save to keep the ball in play, but The Broncs would win the point. Following a big rally at 12-10, the Retrievers would start building a lead. Sarah Fillmore would win a point for UMBC with a serving ace, after the Rider defender slipped on the floor and failed a return. She knocked the ball into the net on the next serve attempt to bring it to 14-11, but Hoeks would win a point for UMBC on the next rally. Another serve into the net would give Rider the ball and the point. But UMBC would pull up two more points to bring it to 17-12. Rider’s Thompson would spike it to have UMBC knock it out of bounds to make it 17-13. Scheetz would spike the ball over to win Baltimore County’s 18th point when the Broncs couldn’t get the ball back over. Lacey Johnson would knock the ball past the block to respond with Rider’s 14th point tough. After Rider spiked it out of bounds, Katelyn Thompson picked up a point for their team with a spike that was not returned. Following another Rider point, UMBC’s Hodson tried to light touch the ball over the net but it didn’t work and the score was now 19-17. Sarah Fillmore responded by nailing a spike past the defenders for a kill to make it 20-17. Rider’s Britney Hayes would have the next point as she hit it over only to have the Retrievers knock it out of bounds. UMBC’s Hoeks returned fire with an untouched spike kill to make, but Brittany Hayes of Rider would get the next kill when UMBC couldn’t return her spike. Amidst all the scoring was a lot of good blocks from both front lines. Lacey Johnson of Rider served the ball and fooled the UMBC defense into thinking it was out for an ace. Hoeks would gain a point for UMBC though in return, and Rider’s Thompson would spike the ball through the defensive block to make it 23-21. Rider’s Amy Jeary would repeat a feat of her teammate in making the Retrievers think a serve was out, when it was in to make it 23-2. Kristy Love would beat a block to knock in the ball to tie it up at 23-23. Thompson would get the Broncs a rare lead with a spike that defense couldn’t handle to make it 23-24, but Rider would serve out of bounds to tie it back up at 24-24. UMBC would take the lead again including with a big block to go up 27-24. Rider would respond when Thompson blocked her way to a point and a 27-25. UMBC’s Scheetz would nail a kill past the defense to make it 28-25 however, but UMBC would stumble on the next play and it was now 28-26. Lacey Johnson won the next point for Rider with her spike that UMBC knocked out of bounds. Following a Rider serve error, Rider responded with a spike untouched from Lindsay Brant. But Ashley Oscars of UMBC hit a big time spike that Rider couldn’t read to make it 30-29. UMBC knocked it out of bounds on the next rally and the score was tied again at 30-30. Britney Hodson responded with an untouched spike kill to make it 31-30, and Sabrina Hoeks won the point and the game with her own spike which the Broncs couldn’t return to end it. While I believe, and my notes indicated this ended the match for some reason there was an additional point in the official play by play, which I can’t explain, so I’ll have to leave it at that.
Game 3 began and Rider was down 0-2 and facing a loss unless they could turn it around. Both teams scored a point to make it 1-1, but a pair of UMBC blocks put them up to 3-1. Rider fought back with a Love spiking it off the defense and Johnson dropping in an attack to make it 3-3. UMBC spiked it out of bounds to give Rider a 3-4 lead, and the Broncs would block UMBC’s Ashley Oscars fierce attack twice on their way to a 3-5 lead. Oscars would beat the block on the next point to make t 4-5, and a Front line block from her teammates tied it at 5-5. UMBC would then go on a scoring run with Oscars serving including Hoeks dropping the ball in for a point and Oscars herself serving just inside the out of bounds line fooling the Rider D for the 9th point. Kristy Love finally put an end to the UMBC scoring streak with an untouched spike of her own to make it 12-6. Hoeks would get the Retrievers another point by beating the block to make it 12-6, but a serve into the net lead to the Broncs regaining the serve with the score at 12-7. That would last long as Hoeks nailed a big time spike over the net untouched by the Rider team to make it 13-7. A pair of UMBC points would be answered by Lacey Johnson spiking it and Baltimore County hitting it out bounds. With it 15-8, Rider would serve into the net however, but pick up another point when Katelyn Thompson spiked it in and the Retrievers could barely touch it. With the score 16-9, Britney Hodson spiked it with authority for an untouched kill and got UMBC another point. Rider began struggling on defense and UMBC’s Pam Jarret had a good scoring run while having the serve. This would come to an end with her serving out of bounds after UMBC reached 22-10. Angela Anderson would pick up the next point for UMBC off the Rider serve. The next rally featured a great sliding save from Ashley Oscars but it was not enough to save the point. Oscars would get the kill when Rider knocked her spike out of bounds to make it 24-11. Rider didn’t give up however and Lacey Johnson beat the block to make it 24-12. UMBC’s Scheetz would beat the Rider block to bring it to 25-12, but the Broncs would pick up the next point and another to bring it to 25-14. UMBC would then close the door on the Rider comeback as Hodson spiked it hard untouched to the floor for a 26-14. Rider would get a piece of Anderson’s spike but to no avail, and the score would be 27-14. Two more points would come their way and UMBC would ice the victory with a block to win the 30th point and win the match 3-0.
(Scoring based on my eyewitness account, though I do try and double check my information against the official box score.) Thanks for reading. Please don’t reproduce this account without permission.