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Hunter 16 Kills Not Enough as UAlbany Falls to UMBC 3-0 to Finish 2013 Season

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Hunter 16 Kills Not Enough as UAlbany Falls to UMBC 3-0 to Finish 2013 Season

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DURHAM, N.H.Amy Hunter’s 16 kills were not enough as 3-seed UAlbany was defeated by 2-seed UMBC in three sets (19-25, 16-25, 16-25) in the America East semifinals on Friday.

The loss finishes UAlbany’s 2013 season with a 9-19 record after going 9-5 in America East play.  UMBC improves to 19-11 and advances to the America East title match tomorrow.

“Our youth caught up to us today against an experienced UMBC team,” says coach MJ Engstrom.  “We had some good showings this year, and this group will continue to learn and get better.”

Hunter led UAlbany with 16 kills, hitting .263, and was named to the America East All-Tournament Team.

After UMBC got the opening point, earned seven of the next 10 points, capped by a Mikala McCauley dump kill, to lead 7-4.  Emily Witsaman responded a couple of kills with a 4-0 run to put UMBC up 8-7.  The teams went back and forth until at 12-12, five in a row for UMBC, capped by two Ali Goc kills, put the designated home team ahead 17-12, later leading 19-13.  UAlbany tried to get back in the set, winning four of five, finished by a kill and solo block from Hunter, to pull within three at 20-17.  But a trio of Hannah Schmidt kills towards the end of the set led UMBC to get set one 25-19.

UMBC got a fast start with a 4-1 lead in the second set.  A couple of Hunter kills pulled UAlbany within one at 5-4.  After UMBC went up 8-5, a Sofia Furlong kill and Tatum Jungsten solo block put UAlbany back within one.  UMBC slowly built the lead to 14-9, as another Hunter kill and UMBC attack error made it 14-11.  Five-in-a-row for the Retrievers put the score at 19-11 UMBC.  UAlbany looked to counter, earning four of the next five points, finished by a Furlong kill, to make it 20-15.  After an exchange of points, UMBC got the final four to win the game 25-16 and go up 2-0 in the match.

A couple of Mallory McIntyre aces helped UMBC start 4-1 in the third game.  Hunter got a couple of kills, but UMBC kept the lead at 8-4.  UAlbany got a couple of points back on a UMBC servicer error and Laini Leindecker kill made it 8-6.  Seven of the next nine went to UMBC, capped by another pair of McIntyre aces.  A Hunter kill and UMBC attack error got two points back as the two sides exchanged again, when at 18-13, three points straight for UMBC made it 21-13.  UAlbany could not come back and dropped the set 25-16 to fall in three.

McCauley earned her 11th double double of the year with 24 assists and 16 digs, adding a pair of kills.  Viktoriia Stroilo had 23 digs at libero, while Jungsten finished with four kills and three blocks.

Schmidt led UMBC, hitting .389 with 16 kills and 11 digs.  McIntyre had a double double as well with 33 assists, 12 digs, five aces and three kills.


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