WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The University of Delaware volleyball team picked up its first win of the season with a five-set victory over UMBC before falling to George Washington in five sets as the Blue Hens split a pair of thrilling matches Friday at the GW Tournament.

UD head coach Sara Matthews earned her first career victory with the 25-18, 21-25, 25-17, 18-25, 15-10 triumph over the Retrievers (5-6) during the afternoon match. The Colonials (4-8) then edged the Blue Hens (1-8) 25-20, 26-24, 25-11, 21-25, 17-15 during the final match of the day.

Blue Hen sophomore Maria Bellinger produced a pair of tremendous performances on Friday, becoming just the second player in school history to record at least 25 kills in consecutive matches. Bellinger became the eighth player in Blue Hen history to post a 20-kill/20-dig match against UMBC with 25 kills and a career-high 20 digs, as she hit .340 on the afternoon.

The Paramus, N.J. native then set her career-high in kills for the second consecutive match by blasting 28 versus George Washington, tied for the sixth most in UD history.

Brooke Robertson also recorded a double-double with career-highs of 11 kills and 11 digs in the win over the Retrievers, while Bailey Pearlman was the third Blue Hen to reach double figure kills with 11 of her own. Abby Skryd notched a double-double with 35 assists and a career-best 10 digs, while Courtnie Roberts handed out 21 assists and Maddie Judge made a match-high 22 digs.

After the teams traded the first four sets and were tied 8-8 in the fifth frame, Delaware won five straight points, including three straight on Bellinger kills, to take control. The Retrievers answered with the next two points, but Bellinger responded with a kill before Kori Rasmussen delivered an ace to seal the victory.

Bellinger added 14 digs against George Washington to post her second double-double of the day, while Robertson added a career-best 12 digs to go with nine kills. Raven Luckett contributed nine kills with no errors on 13 swings for a .692 hitting percentage, Skryd added 27 assists while Roberts dished out a career-best 24, and Judge led the team with 20 digs.

After dropping the opening set, kills by Bellinger and Robertson broke a 24-24 deadlock in the second to pull Delaware even. The Blue Hens fell behind by a set again, but led almost all of the fourth stanza to force the deciding set. The fifth frame featured an incredible 14 ties, with neither team leading by more than a point after they were knotted at 3-3. UD fought off a pair of match points, before an attack error by Pearlman and a Colonials ace gave George Washington the victory.

HEAD COACH SARA MATTHEWS
“I’m really proud of the progress and strides we are making. We are learning how to fight and have grit. We had some really great performances today. Raven (Luckett) is working so hard, and her numbers showed. Maddie (Judge) is continuing to be the cornerstone of our defense with at least 20 digs in both matches. And Maria (Bellinger) was off the charts. Obviously her offense was great but I am most proud of her defensive effort and working so hard to be a great complete player. We are looking forward to getting after it again tomorrow.”

HEN SCRATCHINGS
• Bellinger’s 20-20 performance vs. UMBC is the 25th in program history, and the first since Alissa Alker vs. Northeastern on Oct. 19, 2012
• Bellinger’s 28 kills vs. GW are the most by a Blue Hen since Katie Hillman belted 28 in a five-set win over UMBC on Sept. 6, 2013
• The only other UD player with consecutive 25-kill matches is Colleen Walsh, who had 32 vs. William & Mary (Nov. 10, 2006) and 27 vs. VCU (No. 11, 2006)
• Delaware played its first two five-set matches of the season
• Bellinger now has eight career double-doubles, while Robertson and Skryd notched their first double-doubles at UD during the win over UMBC
• The Blue Hens improved to 27-8 vs. the Retrievers and defeated UMBC for the fifth straight meeting
• GW now leads the all-time series vs. Delaware, 10-4, although the teams were meeting for the first time since 2004

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
• Delaware vs. Holy Cross (George Washington Tournament) - Saturday, September 16 (12 noon)
• Delaware at *William & Mary - Thursday, September 21 (7 p.m.)
• Delaware at *Elon - Saturday, September 23 (7 p.m.)

MEDIA INFORMATION: Contact Kevin Tritt | ktritt@udel.edu | Office: 302-831-8715 | Cell: 302-383-5005