Beavers gets Green Mountain in NAC first-round match

Beavers gets Green Mountain in NAC first-round match

FARMINGTON, Maine -- Third-ranked University of Maine at Farmington is scheduled to host No. 6 Green Mountain College in the North Atlantic Conference Women's Volleyball Quarterfinals at Dearborn Gymnasium Saturday at 11 a.m.

The Beavers finished the regular season at 13-9 overall and 5-2 in the NAC. The 13 wins is the most by a UMF team since 2006 (17-9). The Eagles stand at 6-15 (2-5).

UMF head coach Kika Nigals is optimistic about her squad's chances headed into Saturday's match.

"I think we're going to do well," said Nigals. "We're building momentum going into the second half of the season and into postseason. We have confidence, we have talent and, as long as all aspects come together, I think we're going to do some good things."

The Beavers are led by three-time all-conference selection Shannon Mitchell (Portsmouth, N.H.) with team highs of 202 kills and 44 total blocks. Mitchell is followed on the attack by Amanda Mullane (Melrose, Mass.) with 105 kills and Shannon Brown with 88 kills.

Whitney Walls leads UMF in assists (283) and service aces (48) with Bridget Flaherty (Plymouth, Maine) also handling some setting duties with 182 assists. Marina Tello (San Antonio Texas), who has been recognized three times as NAC Rookie of the Week, paces the defense with 241 digs.

"We are a good passing team," said Nigals. "We have to remember to continue passing well. We have to serve aggressively and be ready for some broken plays coming from the other side of the court. Be aware, play well and make sure nothing drops on our side of the court."

Last Saturday, the Beavers got past Green Mountain 3-1 (25-23, 25-18, 19-25, 25-19) at Castleton State College. Mitchell led UMF with 11 kills and 11 digs, while Tello recorded 19 digs and Walls had 12 assists and 13 digs. Kara Egan collected 11 kills and 11 digs for the Eagles with Chanleigh Casey registering 16 digs.

"I think we came out faring well," said Nigals. "I think we're going to do better come this Saturday. We'll be better rested, not have a long bus ride that we have to deal with. I think Green Mountain be in for a surprise."

The duo of Egan (109 kills, 200 digs) and Casey (94 kills, 125 digs) along with Madison Wage (87 kills, 27 total blocks) are among the statistical leaders for the Eagles. Jennifer Seredjko has handed out 249 assists on the season.

"We shouldn't underestimated Green Mountain," said Nigals. "They're a small team, but they're very feisty. They fight and they're determined to win every single point."

Marina Tello Shannon Brown Amanda Mullane Whitney Walls Shannon Mitchell