NEWARK, Del. – The University of New Hampshire volleyball team dropped a pair of matches in the second day of competition at the Delaware Invitational. The Wildcats move to 0-6 overall. Michigan State captured match one 3-1 with set scores of 25-19, 23-25, 25-18 and 25-13, while Syracuse took the final match of the weekend 3-0 with set scores 25-23, 25-23 and 25-21. The Wildcats open the home portion of the 2008 schedule on Tuesday night with Bryant University (7 p.m.).
Michigan State went on to win the Delaware Invitational with its lone set loss being a 25-23 loss to UNH in set two. Junior Kirsten Bates (Calgary, Alberta) had 50 kills over the three matches (16.67 kpm – 4.16 kpg), including recording match-highs for kills in all three matches and was named to the Delaware Invitational All-Tournament team. This selection marks the second-straight weekend the first-team All-America East selection was named to an all-tournament.
In the first match of the day, Michigan State built a small lead early and held that slim advantage throughout the set using 15 kills and a .367 hitting percentage to seal the win. The second set went back-and-forth with the largest lead of the set being a 17-14 Spartan advantage. UNH rallied with three-straight points to tie though the lead would switch hands three more times until the Wildcats won the set by capturing the final two points. Set three was tied 4-4 when MSU went on a 14-6 run to make it 18-10. UNH would rally, but could not complete the come-back. The Spartans hit a match-best .423 in the third set. The final set was also very close with neither team holding a lead larger than four. The Wildcats held a 21-20 lead until MSU scored four unanswered points and went on to capture the set and the match.
Bates paced the Wildcat offense with 20 kills and 13 digs, while Lindsay Fogarty (Pleasanton, Calif.) added 10 kills and three blocks. Junior setter Kate Uitti (Pinckney, Mich.) had a team-high 34 assists.
In the final match of the weekend for New Hampshire, Syracuse captured all three sets by narrow margins. The first set saw 12 different ties including a 23-23 tie that was broken with the Orange garnering the final two points of the set. Syracuse had a match-best 16 kills and .433 hitting percentage, while UNH set match benchmarks with 15 kills and a .267 percentage. The Orange built a small cushion early in set two and held a 17-12 lead before the Wildcats went on a 6-1 run to tie it at 18-18. Syracuse answered with three-straight points and went on to win 25-23. In the final set of the day neither team held a lead larger than four and the set was tied 18-18 until the Orange went on a 7-3 run to close out the set and match.
Against Syracuse, Bates had 14 kills and hit at a .684 clip with just one attack error. Pauline Acres (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Fogarty added nine and eight kills, respectively. Uitti had a match-high 32 assists, while Alyse Lahti (Pepper Pike, Ohio) had a team-high eight digs.
UNH will open the home portion of its schedule on Tuesday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. in Lundholm Gymnasium against Bryant University. Tickets are available online at www.unhwildcats.com. This match will be streamed online at unhwildcats.tv. Wildcat fans can watch the Bryant game free of charge as a promotion for the annual subscription plan. For the rest of the 2008 volleyball season, fans can purchase events on a per game basis for $6.95 or they can purchase the annual subscription for $79.95.