Volleyball Comes Up Short at Final Day of Holly Young Invitational



Matthew Tomer, Sports Editor

This past weekend, the Hawks volleyball team hit the courts in Durham, New Hampshire for the Holly Young Invitational. After falling 3 sets to none against St. Francis Brooklyn, Hartford looked to bounce back on Saturday against Merrimack and University of New Hampshire.

The first match of the day came up against Merrimack who came into the day with a 1-1 record. Hartford opened set one strong, taking an 8-3 advantage early on. Keeping up with the momentum, the Hawks extended their lead 11-6. The set stayed close, and Hartford would be able to hold on to the lead taking the opening set 25-22. Merrimack was out for vengeance keeping set two close. Hartford junior Uzezi Ijoma had seven kills in set two, cutting the gap to 19-16. Merrimack was able to hold onto the lead until the end, winning set two with a final score of 25-22. Set three and four followed the same story line as the first two keeping each set close. Unfortunately for Hartford, their efforts were not enough, falling to Merrimack 25-17 in set two and 25-21 in set three giving Merrimack a notch in the win column with a 3 set to 1 win over the Hartford Hawks. Uzezi Ijoma finished the match with 14 kills and senior Greta De Gasper finished with 11 kills and 18 digs, for her first double-double of the season.

The second and final match for the Hartford Hawks was against host team, University of New Hampshire. De Gasper continued to be a terror on the court with back-to-back kills helping Hartford take an 8-2 lead in the first set of the match. Despite the strong start for the Hawks, New Hampshire went on a 7-1 run which led the Wildcats on a huge run giving them the win 25-12 to take the first set. In set two, the Hawks kept it close battling it out to a 9-9 tie. Although it was a close set, New Hampshire would break the trend and go on a huge run giving them the win in set two, 25-16. After taking the first two sets of the match, New Hampshire held the momentum and jumped out to an early 7-3 lead. The Hawks were forced to take a timeout midway through the set which allowed them to go on a 7-3 run, led by two kills from first-year Isabella Labrada. Despite the late efforts by Hartford, New Hampshire was just too dominant to give up the lead. They went on to win the third set 25-20 and taking the match three sets to zero.

The Hartford Hawks look to bounce back this Friday, September 2, as they head down to Delaware for the Delaware State Invitational. Hartford will face the home team Hornets at 4 p.m., and then go one to face Loyola at 11 a.m. and in-state rival Quinnipiac at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday to close out the tournament.