PRINCESS ANNE, Md.– The University of Maryland Eastern Shore volleyball team begins their Mid- Eastern Atlantic Conference Title defense Friday night against the Hornets of Delaware State University at the William P. Hytche Athletic Center. Start time is 7 p.m.
SEASON IN REVIEW
The two-time MEAC Champions enter tomorrow night's match 1-11 overall. The team played 12 non-conference foes accumulating a combined 96-69 overall record with a .582 winning percentage. The Lady Hawks faced stout competition in every tournament this season. Most recently, the team competed in the Blue & White Classic (Buffalo, NY) where they faced the University of Buffalo, Valparaiso University, and #13 The Ohio State University. The three teams have combined for 35 wins so far this season.
THE LONE RANGER
The young squad is led by lone Senior Jingqiao Li (Beijing, China). This season, Li leads the team in digs (167) while averaging 4.28 digs per set, which is fourth in the MEAC. Li was also recognized for her outstanding performances in the CEFCU Classic and Sacred Heart University (SHU) Hampton Inn Invitational where she made the All-Tournament Team for both. Li combined for 106 digs in those two tournaments while averaging nearly 18 digs per set in the process. THE NEWCOMERS Haley Robinson (Honolulu, HI) and Petra Jerabkova (Prague, Czech Republic) are among the several newcomers for the Lady Hawks. Robinson leads the team with 31 total blocks and second on the team with 56 kills behind fellow newcomer Ashley Smith's (Huntley, IL) 73 kills. The Hawaiian-native also earned All-Tournament Team honors at the Norfolk State University (NSU) Invite. Robinson notched an impressive 19 kills, nine blocks, six digs, an ace, and two assists in the three tournament matches.
Jerabkova enters Friday's match second on the team in assists (117) and digs (62) while accumulating 55 kills, placing her third on the team behind Smith and Robinson. Jerabkova began her collegiate career at the SHU Hampton Inn Invitational and earned All-Tournament Team. Jerabkova would go on to earn two more All-Tournament Team recognitions (NSU Invite and Blue & White Classic). On September 9th, Jerabkova earned MEAC Rookie of the Week honors for her performance at the SHU Hampton Inn Invitational, making her the first UMES volleyball player to win MEAC Rookie of the Week since Bridget Ebster-Schwarzenberger (9/17/12). MATCHUP PREVIEW Since 2002, the team has won 23 out of 25 contests versus Delaware State including the last four matches. The Lady Hawks last loss to the Hornets was October 29, 2011 at Delaware State. Currently, the team holds the longest home- match winning streak in NCAA Division I (30). The last home match loss was September 26, 2009 against the Pioneers of Sacred Heart University. Additionally, the Lady Hawks own a 34 regular-season home-match winning streak against conference foes dating back to 2006. The last MEAC opponent to knock off the Lady Hawks at home was North Carolina A&T (Oct. 14, 2006). The Hornets enter tomorrow night's contest 1-9 after falling to Niagara in four sets, 3-1. Delaware State's lone win came back nearly two weeks ago versus St. Peter's at the Syracuse University Tournament. Since the win, the team has lost five consecutive matches.
After the Hornets, the Lady Hawks will host Howard (10/04) and then begin a six-match road trip beginning in Baltimore, MD versus Coppin State (10/06). The team returns home on Halloween (10/31) to square off against Morgan State to begin their four-match home stand to wrap-up the regular season