ALBANY, N.Y. -- Sarah Pope finished with a career-high 20 kills on .543 hitting to lead UAlbany to a 3-1 win over UMBC (9-13, AE 2-3) in America East Conference volleyball action on Sunday afternoon at University Gymnasium. The Great Danes posted set scores of 25-19, 18-25, 25-20, and 25-15 for the victory.
The Great Danes rolled to the first-set victory, led by Samantha Brostrom with six kills on .417 hitting. Gabby Whitworth, who has becoming invaluable as the UAlbany setter, handed out 10 assists in the set, while liberto Viktoriia Stroilo finished with five digs. The Great Danes also outblocked the Retrievers, 3-0, while holding UMBC to a .095 hitting percentage.
The Retrievers battled back to win set two, getting five kills from Krystal Mlemchukwu off 15 assist from Mallory McIntyre. Pope recorded six kills, without one error in 12 attepts, whille Whitworth tallied another 10 assists. Mlemchukwu recorded UMBC's only block in the set, while Sofia Furlong and Gabby Whitworth combined for two total blocks for the Great Danes.
After the break, UAlbany came out firing, with Pople leading the way with seven kills and one solo block. Hannah Schmidt attempted to keep the Retrievers in the set with six kills, but Stroilo's 10 digs, combined with blocks from Brostrom and Pope, kept the Great Danes ahead and gave UAlbany the third-set victory.
The Great Danes rolled to the match win in the final set, getting six kills from Brostrom and five kills on .833 hitting from Pope. UAlbany recorded four total blocks, getting solo blocks from Tatum Jungsten and Whitworth. Stroilo came up with a set-high eight digs, en route to her match-high 28.
Whitworth quarterbacked the Great Danes to a .258 hitting percentage, while also recording a double-double with 47 assists and 10 digs. The hitter-turned-setter also tallied four total blocks, two kills and two of UAlbany's five service aces. Brostrom totaled 18 kills and was just short of a double-double with nine digs, to go along with two total blocks and two aces. Jungsten was the third Great Dane in double-digit kill totals with ten. As a team, UAlbany out-blocked UMBC, 11-5, in the match.
UAlbany (7-11, AE 4-0) will return to action on Friday, hosting New Hampshire - the only other undefeated team in the conference - at 7 p.m. at University Gym.