PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland – The University of Maryland Eastern Shore volleyball program got a solid win on Friday, October 28 against visiting South Carolina State University in the Hytche Athletic Center. The Hawks (6-15, 4-6 MEAC) swept the Bulldogs (0-21, 0-10 MEAC) in three straight sets 25-18, 25-20 and 25-7 with three different players grabbing at least seven kills.
“We got the job done today, it feels good – we knew we needed this,” head coach Trevor Callarman said. “It’s just about making sure we’re executing. It wasn’t exactly in the fashion that we wanted to win, but sometimes you just have to take the wins where you can get them.”
The Hawks got things rolling quickly in the first set, going on a four-point run aided by two Isil Yilmaz aces that put the Hawks up 6-3, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish in the set. Charlize Williams dominated for the Hawks at the net, notching three kills and grabbing a solo block – including a huge swing for the Hawks 17th point where she broke through an opposing block.
There were some different looks in the first set than the usual Hawk lineup, with Anjola Omolewa grabbing her second start of the season and Yazmyn Stewart sliding in on the full rotation.
“We just wanted to make sure that we’re doing what we think is putting people in position to succeed,” Callarman said. “Anjola has been putting the work in all year coming off the bench, putting some pop in there for us. We were pleased with her performance and seeing a freshman work her way through.”
It was a much different second set for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, allowing the Bulldogs to jump out to a 4-8 lead before Callarman called a timeout, which forced a South Carolina State service error. Following the break, the Hawks found their footing to take a 10-9 lead.
“It was just we were a little flat,” Callarman said. “We had a couple of runs in there where we got stuck in a rotation, just some moments where we didn’t play that great of volleyball.”
The teams would trade points until the Hawks forced the second Bulldog timeout of the set on a Sydney Morris block, then once again ran South Carolina State off the court with a late run.
After not playing to their full potential in the first two sets, the Hawks put it all together with a dominant 25-7 third. A run of six straight points got the Hawks to an 8-2 lead, then with Sophia Chacon serving with a 17-6 lead, the Hawks grabbed seven in a row to make it match point at 24-6. A simple bad set by the Bulldogs gave the Hawks the set and match.
“I hope it helps build up momentum for tomorrow, I felt like it was the only set that played the way we wanted to play as a team,” Callarman said. “The third set was the way we wanted to represent.
Charlize Williams continued her recent tear with eight kills at a .500 hitting percentage while stonewalling the Bulldogs with three solo blocks. Derionah Abner was solid with eight kills herself at a .533 rate and Stewart added seven kills at a .438 rate.
“We ran the offense through (Charlize) tonight and she was excellent again,” Callarman said. “She was focused the entire time and it was another match where it was fun to watch her play.”
It was a clean game defensively for the Hawks, with a season-low two reception errors and getting 40 total digs, led by Isil Yilmaz’s ten in the libero role.
The turnaround is quick for the Hawks, with North Carolina Central visiting on Saturday (October 29) at 2 p.m. in another MEAC matchup. The Hawks took the initial meeting between the squads 3-1 in Durham, the first win at the Eagles (5-16, 4-6 MEAC) since 2010. Central is coming off of a 0-3 loss at Delaware State.
Follow the action on Twitter via @ESHawksVBall.
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