MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University volleyball team defeated UMBC 3-1 (25-19, 18-25, 25-21, 25-20) to win the Gold & Blue Player’s Challenge Sunday afternoon at the WVU Coliseum.
“We pulled through at the end. We were really focused on the execution of our gameplan,” says coach Jill Kramer. “When you saw us execute the gameplan, you saw success. When we didn’t communicate well and failed to execute, you saw some struggles.
“I thought UMBC fought very hard. They have a good team and some good volleyball players. I’m really proud of the girls for pulling through.”
The Mountaineers (13-1) were led by sophomore outside hitter Nikki Attea
’s 15 kills and 17 digs.
Attea joined sophomore libero Anna Panagiotakopoulos
on the All-Tournament team, with Panagiotakopoulos providing 22 digs for the match.
Sophomore setter Brittany Sample
, who was named the Gold & Blue Player’s Challenge Most Valuable Player, recorded a double-double of her own posting 47 assists and 15 digs, while junior middle blocker Evyn McCoy
registered 13 kills for a .360 hitting percentage and five blocks.
Sophomore outside hitter Hannah Sackett
chipped in 13 kills on 37 attempts.
WVU raced out to a 25-19 first set win behind six kills on nine attempts from Attea. The second set, claimed by the Retrievers (9-5), saw a .323 team hitting percentage for UMBC, compared to just a .022 percentage for the Mountaineers.
“During that lull of points, we slowed it down a little,” Attea says. “That was something we needed to make a quick adjustment to. As long as we’re running our quick offense, we’re going to be the most successful.”
West Virginia would make adjustments, capturing the third and fourth sets by scores of 25-21 and 25-20, respectively, to win the match.
The Mountaineers return to action this Friday, Sept. 27, as they open Big 12 Conference play against Kansas State (11-1) at the WVU Coliseum at 6:30 pm.