Nov. 18, 2010

Courtesy of New Haven

WEST HAVEN, Conn. - Senior Sara Malmlov recorded a match-high 17 kills on Thursday afternoon, as the University of New Haven women's volleyball team defeated Pace University for the third time this season in the opening round of the NCAA Division II East Region Tournament. The Chargers outlasted the Setters by the final score of 3-1 (17-25, 25-11, 25-23 and 25-18) and now advance to play in the semifinals tomorrow evening at Dowling College.

With the win, UNH improved to 27-2 on the season, while Pace University concluded their season with an overall mark of 20-11.

In the first set, nerves were not a factor for the lower seeded Setters, as Pace jumped out to a 7-4 advantage. The teams exchanged points until Pace broke through with a string of six straight points, leaving the Chargers down by seven at 21-14. UNH could not overcome the deficit, dropping the first game by the score of 25-17. New Haven recorded 14 kills and six errors in the frame.

The Chargers wasted little time bouncing back as they raced out to a formidable start in game two. Sara Malmlov granted the Chargers an 11-4 lead after a kill, providing a large cushion for UNH to work with. New Haven added to its lead and finished the set with a 25-11 victory. The Chargers tallied 13 kills and just one error in the triumph.

The pivotal third game featured a quick start for the team in the away jerseys. Pace captured an 11-6 advantage, but proved to be a lead that was short-lived. The Chargers put together a 6-1 run and knotted the score up at 12-12. The teams went back and forth until a kill shot from Keidy Candelaria granted New Haven a 20-19 and New Haven took control of the game. The Chargers escaped with a 25-23 win and a 2-1 advantage in the match.

The match's higher seeded team raced out to an 8-3 lead and never looked back in the fourth and final set. The Chargers recorded 14 kills on six errors en route to a 25-18 victory, ending the Setters' campaign.

Malmlov led the attack for the Chargers, as the senior outside hitter registered a match-high 17 kills and three errors on 41 attempts. Liz Akinbiyi finished with a .452 hitting percentage with 16 kills and just two errors, while Candelaria chimed in with 15 kills and a team-high 19 digs. Chelsey Alpough dished out a match-high 46 assists and Heather Ladao added 17 digs in the win.

The Chargers return to action on Friday, November 19 with the semifinals of the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament. UNH faces off against No. 3 Bridgeport, who defeated AIC in four sets, for the third time this season at Dowling College. First serve is set for 5:00 p.m.