PRINCESS ANNE, Md.- On the second day of the Courtyard and Marriott & Gray Invite, the UMES volleyball squad kept the momentum rolling from day one. The Hawks defeated UMass Lowell by a 3-1 score in the afternoon, and then took care of the Rider Broncs by the same score. With the pair of victories the Hawks won their own tournament, going a perfect 4-0 for the weekend.
Three Hawks—freshman Lucia Babic (Sisak, Croatia) and seniors Andjela Reljic (Novi Sad, Serbia) and Petra Jerabkova (Prague, Czech Republic)—were all named to the All-Tournament team. Babic secured MVP honors after registering 67 kills for the weekend.
The first set in the afternoon match was seized by a furious Hawk rally after the tenth point. A kill by freshman Zuzana Ondruskova (Bilovec, Czech Republic) gave her the opportunity to serve. With her at the helm, UMES rattled off ten straight points, with help from three kills by freshman Rachel Kayongo (Northridge, Calif.). The Hawks rode the momentum to a 25-13 set win.
UMass Lowell played the second set much tighter, fighting to a 15-15 tie. But two kills by junior Haley Robinson (Honolulu, Hawaii) and another Kayongo kill put the Hawks up for good as the team patched together a 10-4 rally to win, 25-19. However, the RiverHawks were not about to be swept for the second straight match. After the Hawks built a 16-12 lead, UMass Lowell fought back to even the score, then took the lead late. A 13-4 rally gave the visitors a 25-20 win in set three.
Freshman Marta Klafuric (Donja Lomnica, Croatia) was tasked with getting UMES off to a good start in set four, and she did with two aces. The set played tight again until two kills by Babic gave UMES the edge they needed to finish off their foes. It would take one final kill by Babic to give the Hawks the match with a 25-19 victory in set four.
For the third straight match, Babic led the Hawks with 16 kills. Jerabkova was a perfect five-for-five in kills to lead the team in attack percentage, while Reljic contributed 17 digs. Robinson and Jerabkova tied with four blocks.
In the nightcap versus Rider it was the Broncs who stormed back to take the first set by rallying from a 23-20 defecit to win 26-24. Rider kept an early lead in the second set, but a Hawk rally that included a Robinson ace pulled the home team back. After the Broncs took a one point lead, kills by Babic and sophomore Alana Polk (Houston, Texas) allowed the Hawks to regain the lead. Further kills by Robinson and Polk sealed the set, 25-21, for the host.
UMES took advantage of the momentum from set two to dominate most of set three. At one point the Hawks were up 13 points and they staved off a ferocious Broncs rally to win, 25-19. In the fourth set Rider tried to even the score by jumping out to an 8-4 edge. But the Hawks would rally would storm back thanks to kills by Ondruskova and Klafuric to tie the score. The set played back and forth until Klafuric and Reljic chipped in aces, aiding in giving a five point lead to the hosts. Two kills by Babic finished off the Broncs in a 25-19 victory.
Babic once again led in kills with 19, followed by Ondruskova and Polk, who tied with 13. Klafuric went 8-for-10 with just one error for an impressive .700 kill percentage. Reljic compiled 35 digs while Ondruskova added 11 of her own. Klafuric pitched in on three blocks, but two of those came solo.
UMES will be home again next weekend as they host the Courtyard Classic. First match will be Friday against Quinnipiac at 6:00p.m., followed by noon and 6:00p.m. matches against Delaware State and North Carolina A&T, respectively.