VOLLEYBALL DROPS TWO MATCHES IN MARYLAND
BOXSCORE (vs Maryland)

BOXSCORE (vs JMU)

COLLEGE PARK, Md.
  – After defeating Temple University in straight games of the opening match of the Hilton Garden Inn Greenbelt Invitational on Friday night, the University of New Hampshire volleyball team dropped matches to University of Maryland (3-0) and James Madison University (3-0) on Saturday at Comcast Pavilion.

Maryland, the host school of the tournament, won by a score of 30-24, 30-22, 30-23. The game scores vs. JMU were 30-26, 32-30, 30-16.

UNH (6-4) lost consecutive matches for the first time this season and the loss to JMU marked the first of 2007 at a neutral site for the Wildcats, who entered the match at 5-0 in those situations.

Emmy Blouin (St. Albert, Alberta) led the team in kills in both matches and recorded a total of 24 to ascend to No. 4 on UNH’s career kills list at 1,062. Jessica Compton (Woodridge, Ill.) recorded seven kills and Toni Barnas (Cary, Ill.) tallied six kills against JMU. Kate Uitti (Pinckney, Mich.), the reigning America East Setter of the Week, quarterbacked the offense and was credited with 29 assists in that match, while Alyse Lahti (Pepper Pike, Ohio) finished with a match-high 15 digs. Kirsten Bates (Calgary, Alberta) chipped in with five kills and four blocks.

In the nightcap against the Dukes, Game 1 featured 11 ties and three lead changes. With the score tied 10-10, UNH went on a 6-1 run behind the services of Lindsay Fogarty (Pleasanton, Calif.)  and Bates to take a 16-11 advantage but JMU rallied to take a 20-19 lead. The Dukes won four of the last five points of the game to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

UNH fell behind 16-10 in Game 2 and still trailed by that six-point margin at 21-15 before rallying to tie it at 24 and push ahead, 27-24. JMU’s 4-1 spurt tied the game again, at 28-28, then UNH fought off two game points before succumbing on the third.

Momentum continued on the side of JMU early in Game 3, as the Dukes won the first six points to roll out to a 6-0 advantage. New Hampshire would not go quietly, however. The Wildcats won nine of the next 14 points to close within 11-9, but the Dukes reeled off seven consecutive points to pull away at 18-9 and the ‘Cats would get no closer than seven points the rest of the way.

In the opening match against Maryland, Blouin recorded a match-high 14 kills and also compiled four digs and three service aces. Defensively, Lahti and Uitti tied for the team lead in digs (seven) and the trio of Bates, Barnas and Fogarty each recorded two blocks. Bates was second to Blouin in kills with nine and Barnas followed with eight. Uitti tallied 28 assists.

In Game 1, the Wildcats opened strong and built a 12-7 lead. The Terps reeled off five consecutive points to pull even before a Bates’ kill put the ‘Cats back in front, 13-12. The Terrapins won the next three points to take their first lead of the match, and the host team slowly pulled away to capture the game 30-24 despite the fact that UNH recorded a better hitting percentage (.333–.278).

Maryland carried the momentum from the latter half of the opening game into Game 2, which saw just one tie and no lead changes. After a Blouin kill tied the score 1-1, the host team won four straight points and methodically pulled away with the combination of a .333 hitting percentage and limiting UNH to a .026 clip.

The ‘Cats regrouped and took a 4-1 lead in Game 3. The Terps responded with a 4-0 run, but New Hampshire rallied to build an 11-7 advantage. With the score 13-10 in favor of the Wildcats, Maryland reeled off five consecutive points to go in front 15-13 and then won eight of the next 10 points to take a commanding 23-15 lead.

New Hampshire returns to action next weekend at the UNH Tournament. Action begins Sept. 14 when 35th-ranked Southern Methodist University takes the court vs. Syracuse University at 4:30 p.m. UNH plays its home opener against College of the Holy Cross following that match (at 7 p.m.).

Tickets for that and all other home volleyball matches are available online at www.unhwildcats.com or by calling 1-866-WILDCAT. UNH’s home matches will be video streamed live online at unhwildcats.tv.
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