PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland – The University of Maryland Eastern Shore volleyball program completed the weekend sweep on Saturday, October 29 with a 3-0 win against visiting North Carolina Central. It was a great showing by the Hawks (7-15, 5-6 MEAC), taking down the Eagles (5-17, 4-7 MEAC) by scores of 25-23, 25-14 and 25-13.
“The offense was really clicking in this match, 14-kills, 15-kills, 15-kills – (that’s) what you want to see as a coach,” head coach Trevor Callarman said. “You’re always aiming for 13 and higher, we hit the mark and then some – that’s due to the passing.”
It was a shaky first set for the Hawks, with North Carolina Central playing tight with five ties and two lead changes. There was a key timeout called by Callarman when the Eagles tied it up at 18-all following an ace by the visitors. While North Carolina Central was able to grab another ace out of the break, the Hawks were able to shore up on defense to escape the set.
“We got aced three times in the first set and then only twice in the next two sets, that’s just a great performance,” Callarman said. “That team is not a slouch at the service line.”
Soleil Cotton and Sydney Morris were great at the net for the Hawks in the first set, and the remaining two as well, combining for six block assists – working together for two combined themselves in the initial set.
“They just executed the scouting report really well,” Callarman said. “They were disciplined up there, they knew what was going on, they were really cerebral with their approach. Those two were just dialed in today.”
After the lag in the first set the Hawks turned on the jets in the second, with the Hawks running through Isil Yilmaz in all facets of the game. The sophomore made several athletic plays from the libero role, saving the Hawks on several rallies that kept the momentum going and keying in on important sets.
“Her performance today was awesome, she was great at the service line, she was great on defense, she passed well,” Callarman said. “She made some amazing saves on the court. She was the backbone of our team.”While there were ten ties and four lead changes in the second set, it was all Hawks after they scored their 12th point, as Yilmaz led the team to five straight points from the service line.
It was pure dominance in the third set for the Hawks, running out to a 10-2 lead before the Eagles were able to come up with a kill of their own. Derionah Abner walked away with four kills on just six tries in the set, while Ranyla Griggs bounced back from a one-for-nine first to notch five kills on just seven attempts.
“You could talk about so many (of the girls) today,” Callarman said. “Sophie was setting great, Charli was consistent, and Deri showed some pop today – she was just seeing the court and the block really well.”
The Hawks are back on the court this Friday, November 4 at Coppin State University in Baltimore looking to avenge an earlier 1-3 loss this season.
Follow the action on Twitter via @ESHawksVBall.
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