Women’s Volleyball Continues NE-10 Win Streak, Defeated Merrimack

Andy Beardsley

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The University of New Haven women’s volleyball team defeated Merrimack College 3-2 (25-20, 25-20, 23-25, 21-25, 15-13) Saturday afternoon in a closely contested Northeast-10 Conference match in Mass. With the win the Chargers improve to 16-2 overall and remain unblemished in the NE-10 with a 9-0 record. The Warriors fall to 5-12 overall and 4-5 in conference play.

The Chargers used four-point rallies in the first and second set to take control of Saturday’s match early. In the opening set, UNH was up 8-7 and then went on a five point run to take a 13-7 lead. They carried the lead throughout the set and eventually Sara Malmlov connected on a set-winning kill to give the Chargers a 25-10 win. Merrimack opened a lead early in the second set, but the Chargers rallied from 6-2 down to take an 8-6 lead. Later in the set the Chargers scored another three unanswered points to take a 22-17 lead. The teams exchanged points and the Chargers took a 2-0 lead in the match after a 25-20 victory in the second set.

New Haven led throughout most of the third set as well. The Chargers led by as many as five points (16-11), but the Warriors hung around, staying within three points for most of the set. The Chargers would gradually take a 22-18 lead off a Merrimack attack error, but from that point on, they scored just one point. Merrimack went on a 7-1 run to close the set and bring the match to within one set, 2-1.

In the fourth set, Merrimack would lead for most of the set. The Warriors opened an early lead before the Chargers clsoed the gap and took a 16-12 lead midway through the set. Merrimack took control back at 19-18 and went on to score six of the set’s final nine points, evening the match at two sets each.

After playing point-for-point to 3-3, the Chargers rattled off three straight points in the final set to take a 6-3 lead early. New Haven would carry the lead all the way until the final moments of the set when Merrimack tied the score at 13-13. After a UNH timeout, Keidy Candelaria and Elizabeth Akinbiyi both hammered kills and gave the Chargers a close 15-13 victory.

Sara Malmlov led the team with 21 kills, while Candelaria added 16. Candelaria also hit .325 during the match and grabbed 25 digs. Malmlov added 13 digs for the double-double as well. Akinbiyi finished the match with 11 kills and six blocks, while Tymika Duncan finished with nine kills and nine blocks.

The Chargers return to action on Wednesday, October 20 when they host American International College at Charger Gymnasium. Match time is set for 7 p.m.