Following a 2-1 showing at the Army Invitational tournament, UNH volleyball (3-1) surged to a 3-0 win over the Bryant Bulldogs (0-4).
Last weekend, UNH traveled to West Point, NY where they defeated Rhode Island and Iona College. They won both of those games 3-1. The ‘Cats faltered a 3-0 loss to Army on the evening of August 31.
As for the 3-0 performance against Bryant Tuesday, the Wildcats were rolling early. After a back-and-forth start, first year middle blocker Hannah Crist got a huge kill, first year right side Erin Hedrick roofed a Bryant hitter, and a combined block of Hedrick and sophomore middle blocker Abby Sullivan sparked a four-point run.
UNH proceeded to win the first set 25-19.
Strong blocking was a constant throughout the match. UNH combined for 11 blocks on the night; nine of which courtesy of Sullivan and five were from senior right-side Hannah Petke. UNH head coach Chris Feliciano attributes the strong blocking to their practice regiment. “We run a very fast pace offense when we’re scrimmaging in practice, so whenever we face a team that is a little slower and is out of system, we block well.”
The blocking helped UNH’s passing game too. While there is no such thing as a night off for the back row, the passing game was made easier by the UNH blockers getting a hand on almost every Bryant attack.
The second set was simply a blowout, attributed to dynamic serving from UNH. Led by senior defensive specialist Logan Welti’s serving, UNH jumped out to a nine-point run to open the set.
The lead would not falter as UNH jumped to a 17-7 lead following a three-point run on senior outside hitter Kennedi Smith’s serving. Smith had two aces against Bryant in addition to leading the team with eight digs.
Junior setter Emma Patlovich also found success with her serves. She led the team with three aces Tuesday.
“With our serving we can dictate what the other team does to us, and today I thought we controlled the pace of the match very well,” Feliciano said postgame.
UNH won the second set 25-14, finishing on a tip from Sullivan.
The third set held more back-and-forth, but UNH prevailed as Petke remained unstoppable. The senior led the way with nine kills in the match, good for a career high.
UNH won the third set 25-15 with a strong serve from senior libero Emily Tanski.
In other news, Patlovich took home America East setter of the week after her performance at the Army Invitational Tournament. She recorded a game-high 15 assists Tuesday.
The ‘Cats have a busy week ahead of them, as they will host the Holly Young Invitational. UNH faces Seattle University (2-2) Thursday at 7 p.m., Holy Cross (0-3) Friday at 7 p.m., and Brown (0-0) Saturday at 12:30 p.m.