BANGOR, ME – The U Maine Presque Isle Volleyball team (3-1) opened their season at the Husson Invitational this weekend. The Owls matched up with St. Joseph (VT) on Friday, notching their first win of the season. After losing their first match on Saturday against Husson, UMPI would go on to gain victories over Unity and Maine Machias to go 3-1 on the weekend.
UMPI def. St. Joseph (VT) 3-0 (25-9, 25-6, 25-10)
The Owls opened their season with a true team effort with 12 players contributing to the win. Freshman Taylor Johnson (Eagle, ID) led the team in kills with nine, while Maddi Thweatt (FR, Middleton, ID) would tally eight kills, and Miranda Washinawatok (FR, Shawano, WI) would have seven. Thweatt would also have six service aces and three digs. Brittney Harper (FR, East Mountain, NS) split time at the setter position and finished with 14 assists and six service aces.
Husson def. UMPI 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-22)
UMPI had a chance to win each game of the set, but could not rally to top the Eagles. Washinawatok led the Owls offense with nine kills and while tallying 13 digs. Thweatt would collect seven kills, and lead the team in digs with 15. Johnson would contribute defensively as well, recording 14 digs. Harper ended up with 18 assists. Husson would carry a slight advantage in three offensive categories to propel them to victory. The Eagles had 36 kills, 8 service aces, and 32 assists, to the Owls 31 kills, 5 aces, and 27 assists.
UMPI def. Unity 3-0 (25-12, 25-7, 25-7)
The Owls would control the matchup from start to finish, neutralizing the Rams' attack. Eight different UMPI players would record kills, with Washinawatok leading the charge with nine. Johnson would end the match with seven kills. Harper would once again lead in assists with 17, Laura Aroz (SO, Tuscon, AZ) would contribute seven more assists in the win. Marissa Arriaga (FR, Lawernceville, GA) would lead the team with five service aces.
UMPI def. Maine – Machias 3-0 (25-10, 25-22, 25-11)
The Owls would come out on top in three straight, despite a well contested second game. Thweatt would lead the UMPI offense with 14 kills. Washinawatok would continue her strong weekend, recording 12 kills, three service aces, and three digs in the weekend finale. Harper had 30 assists in the match, as well as tallying 3 service aces and two assisted blocks.
"It's a good start to the season," said Owls Head Coach Jonathon Bowman, "but we still want to raise our level of play and beat teams like Husson." The Eagles would remain undefeated for the weekend and be named the tournament champions.
The Owls will compete in another weekend tournament starting on Friday, September 8th at St. Joseph's (ME). Their first match against the host team will start at 5 pm, and they will follow that up with a rematch against Husson at 7 pm. UMPI will then see the University of Maine at Fort Kent for the first time this year on Saturday at 10 am. They will conclude the tournament matching up against one of those teams again, dependent on each team's records for the weekend.