BUFFALO, N.Y.— Rebounding from a tough outing yesterday against ranked Ohio State, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore came to play against the tournament host and undefeated University at Buffalo but it was too tough of a hill to climb as the Hawks fell 3-0 (25-23, 2515, 25-16) to fall to 1-10 on the season.
Lauren Berry (Bloomington, Ill.) led the Hawk offense with seven kills on 17 swings to hit an efficient .235. She would add a block assist, part of just two blocks for UMES. Petra Jerabkova (Prague, Czech Republic) continued her solid play, adding six kills to go along with nine assists, an ace, four digs and a block assist. UMES got solid defense again from Jingqiao Li (Beijing, China) who had a match high 19 digs to go along with four assists. Sonia Rosales (Victorville, Calif.) led UMES in that category, dishing out 14. While the Hawks hit positive, they allowed Buffalo to put up solid numbers, hitting .368 for 49 kills and blocking nine UMES attacks. The closest set was the first as the Hawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead getting a Berry kill on a Jerabkova assist. Buffalo's Amber Hatchett then buried it out of bounds for an error to give the Hawks to lead.
The two teams traded points until a Jerabkova kill gave UMES the ball and the lead, 4-3. Allison Woods (Magnolia, Texas) then stepped back to serve and was efficient. She would get a kill from teammate Aleksandra Manolova (Sofia, Bulgaria), an error from Buffalo and then toss an ace to put UMES up 7-3. UB broke the streak but then made a service error to give the ball right back. No team would serve more than twice for the next 18 points. Haley Robinson (Honolulu, Hawaii) then blasted a Rosales set for a kill and the 15-13 lead. Jerabkova went back to serve and got an ace when UB was out of rotation. Manolova got her second kill on the next serve before Buffalo took back over, down 17- 14. They missed long with their serve to give the ball back and again the two teams traded points until Buffalo got it back, trailing 23-20.
UMES looked to get a set one win but Carissa McKenna started serving and the Hawks couldn't figure it out. A Robinson error, followed by a Woods error cut the lead to one. McKenna then tossed an ace to tie the match at 23. It was the first tie since three all. UMES had led ever since. McKenna then got another Robinson error and Hatchett finished with a kill to give UB the first set win 25-23. The set loss deflated the young Hawks, who never trailed in the set until the final two points. In the second set UMES trailed early before battling back on the serving of Li to tie the match at six.
The teams would be tied at seven and eight but Buffalo slowly started pulling away. UMES cut the lead to three at 17-14 on a McKenna error but Li's next serve resulted in a UB kill and they cruised from there to win the set 25-15. Set three again saw UMES get the lead, much like the first. Berry opened with a kill, but after UB tied it on a Tahleia Bishop kill, Ashley Smith (Huntley, Ill.) responded with her own for the 2-1 lead. Rosales served up two more points on Buffalo errors to take a 4-1 lead, but two UB kills a Jerabkova error and a Buffalo ace gave UB the 5-4 lead and forced a UMES timeout. Buffalo retuned from the stoppage to rattle off three more points before Rosales took a Li pass for a dump kill to break the run. The Hawks trailed 8-5. Moriah Brookins (Cypress, Calif.) got a kill to cut the lead to two but McKenna struck again and gave UB the ball right back. She got another kill before making an error to give the ball back to UMES, trailing 10-7. While the two teams' record are almost opposite of each other, they were evenly matched on the floor.
No one served more than twice over the next 15 points. Buffalo's Kaja Schirmer rotated back and made the difference. Her turn at service accounted for a 22-13 lead before UB gave the ball back. UMES couldn't cut the lead, playing even the rest of the way before falling 25-16. The Hawks take on Valparaiso later this afternoon in their final match of the tournament.