Volleyball falls to Hartford in competitive match

Junior setter Delaney Mendez led the team with 30 assists. (Courtesy of UMass Lowell Athletics)

Jason Ounpraseuth
Connector Staff

The UMass Lowell volleyball team lost against the Hartford Hawks 3-2 on Friday, Oct. 13 at Costello Athletic Center on Alumni Night.

Fans and alumni were treated to a thrilling America East matchup that featured two determined teams that were looking to get out of the bottom of the conference.

UMass Lowell head coach Resa Provenzano spoke highly of her team’s play and their ability to play the hardest in close matches.

“I’m proud of the girls. It stings, those close games,” said Provenzano, “They fought really hard. They talked about leaving it all out on the floor, and I think they did that.”

Team captain Lindsey Visvardis was the anchor for the team with 24 digs. The junior libero kept the River Hawks composed throughout each set

“She always does a great job back there. She leads the team in so many ways. She has an incredible work ethic and discipline in the backrow and wants it, like all of them, and will sacrifice a lot for it,” says Provenzano.

Junior setter Delaney Mendez and sophomore setter McKenna Bova led the team in assists with 30 and 24, respectively.

Junior middle blocker Lade Adeniyi and Sophomore outside hitter/middle blocker Madi Bell were core contributors in the attacking end. Sophomore outside hitter Katherine Claybaugh had effective production tied for a team-high 14 kills along with 14 digs on the defensive end.

The first set began with back and forth action throughout with neither team able pull though with a significant lead. Each team had an answer for each lead change with strong defense, stable communication and advantageous serving. The competitive first set went all the way into a deuce with neither team faltering and giving up a first set lead. Adeniyi provided the key points to give the River Hawks the first set 30-28.

The second set began the same as the first with high intensity from both sides, but with Hartford maintaining an early advantage. UMass Lowell remained composed and patient in their play to try to keep even with Hartford. The River Hawks lost the second set 25-22 due in part to key mistakes and errors during the last few rallies.

UMass Lowell gained the edge in the third set keeping a slim lead as large as four points early on. Balanced play and sturdy communication were the keys in the River Hawks keeping their lead and answering any attempts from Hartford to gain the momentum. UMass Lowell took the third set 25-20.

The fourth set ended the with the same score, except this time in Hartford’s favor. The Hawks held on throughout the fourth set with UMass Lowell not providing many answers against Hartford’s attack.

The River Hawks got off to a fast start in the fifth and final set of the match leading 4-1. Hartford answered back and brought the set into a tense back and forth affair. UMass Lowell ultimately fell 16-14, but nevertheless earned high praise from alumni and fans.

The River Hawks will take on UMBC in a home tilt on Sunday, Oct. 15 at 12 p.m. and then go on the road at the University of New Hampshire on Friday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m.

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