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Volleyball Comes Up Short Against North Carolina, UMBC

Keith Lucas

RICHMOND, Va. – Old Dominion volleyball dropped its first two matches of the VCU Invitational on Friday as the Monarchs fell 3-1 to both North Carolina and UMBC. VCU is hosting the two-day tournament at the Siegel Center.

"We played really well in certain aspects of the game," said head coach Fred Chao. "But we fell short in our ability to be consistent in our first touch, be it serve receive or dig control."
UNC 3, ODU 1
Myah Conway and Ashley Peroe both hit .286 in the match and led the Monarchs (4-8) with 16 and 10 kills, respectively. Tessa Mati was next with eight kills, Teresa Atilano reached 38 assists and Bailey Burgess led both teams with five service aces. Jamie Bissmeyer tied her season high with 16 digs while Mati and Conway followed with eight each. At the net, Atilano and Burgess made three blocks each.

"Our block was big for us, as was Myah's performance for the day," added Chao.
The Tar Heels (6-3) established an early 9-3 lead in the opening set and never looked back. An ace by Atilano kept the set going as ODU trailed 24-19, but UNC earned the next point to take the set.
Down 13-9 in the second set, a Camilla Tamburini service ace and kills from Conway and Burgess highlighted a 5-0 response that put the Monarchs in front, 14-13. Burgess then served three aces herself as a 6-0 run pushed the ODU lead to 20-14. UNC was able to get to within two points multiple times, but the Monarchs edged their opponents 25-21 to even the match at a set apiece.
In Set Three, Conway converted her attack to help knot the score at 15-15. After another tie at 18-18, the Tar Heels outscored the Monarchs 7-2 down the stretch to claim another set. ODU fell behind 22-15 in the fourth set, but got to within 22-18 as a block from Atilano and Burgess capped off a 3-0 run. The Monarchs couldn't get any closer though and a 25-19 final allowed UNC to win the match.
Conway tallied 16 kills for the second straight match to pace the Monarchs. The sophomore added 10 digs and was just shy of a triple double with a new season high of eight blocks. Mati scored nine kills with five digs and two blocks, and Ashley Peroe and Olivia De Jesus chipped in eight kills apiece. Atilano ended up with 24 assists, Ashlynn Belcher tied her season best of 18 assists, and Conway served a pair of aces. Bissmeyer and Anna Burkhardt combined for 15 digs and De Jesus made her presence known at the net with 11 blocks (one solo).
ODU outhit the Retrievers (5-3), .336 to .267. The Monarchs also dominated in blocks, 14-3.
UMBC went ahead two sets to none with scores of 26-24 and 25-20. In the first set, the Monarchs earned six straight points for a 13-8 advantage. The Retrievers chipped away at that lead and eventually pulled ahead 20-19 with a 5-1 swing. Belcher then assisted Conway to tie the set at 20-20 and a UMBC attack error allowed ODU to retake control. The sides then traded points as Conway found pay dirt again to even the score at 24-24. However, UMBC won the next two rallies and the set.
The second set remained close until the Retrievers took off on a 6-0 run that gave them a 19-12 lead. A late 3-0 run for the Monarchs kept their hopes alive at 24-20, but UMBC earned the set point with a solo block.
ODU jumped out to a 12-6 lead in the third set and pushed that to 23-14 on an Atilano service ace. The teams then traded points as the Monarchs sent the match to Set Four with a 25-16 decision. The Monarchs remained close as a Mari score tied the final set at 9-9, but UMBC grabbed the next four points to wrestle back the lead. The Retrievers used another 5-0 run to go up 20-12 and the deficit proved too much for the Monarchs as ODU fell, 25-18.
Up Next
The Monarchs wrap up the Invitational tomorrow as they play the host Rams in a 6 p.m. match at the Siegel Center. Live stats will be available, and fans can watch the match on ESPN+.