Sunday, November 18, 2007

UAlbany Captures Second Consecutive America East Conference Volleyball Title

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Stony Brook, N.Y. – Freshman setter Brooke Stanley received the most outstanding player award in leading the UAlbany to a 3-1 victory over Stony Brook to claim the Great Danes’ third America East Conference volleyball championship in the last four years. UAlbany (21-9) clinched an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament and will learn of its first-round opponent during the NCAA selection show to be aired on Sunday, Nov. 25 at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.

The Great Danes, who entered the match as the third seed, took the first two games from top-seeded Stony Brook (19-1) by scores of 30-23 and 30-24. Kamisha Kellam, a junior middle blocker, had 12 kills and hit .611 in the first two games. Stony Brook would go on to force a fourth game, edging UAlbany by a 30-27 margin, but were unable to hold off the Great Dane offense in the final set, falling 30-27. The loss snapped the Seawolves’ 12-match win streak.

“All weekend we got contributions from everyone,” said head coach Kelly Sheffield after the win. “The young players kept their composure and did what they needed to do, and we got great leadership from our veterans. What a great weekend it was for the entire athletic department."

Kellam led a group of four Great Danes to record double-digit kills, finishing with a team-high 18 to go with seven digs and four total blocks and was named to the all-championship team for the second consecutive season. Ashley Crenshaw had 11 kills and a match-high seven total blocks and was also selected to the all-tournament squad, while Valerie Sourbeer added 10 kills to accompany Amanda Cowdrey’s 16. Cowdrey, a freshman, also had 16 digs for her 20th double-double of the season. Tawny Dahmes led the match in digs for UAlbany, tallying 24.

"Everyone thought that because we were so young, we wouldn't get this far,” said Stanley. “No one was expecting us to win, so it feels great to prove them all wrong. We can only get better from here."

Stony Brook was led by Morgan Sweany, who posted a double-double of the kill-dig variety, recording 12 kills and 13 digs. Jackie Ahlers, the conference player of the year, totaled a match-high 27 kills for the Seawolves, and Kaitlyn Deutsch had a team-high 53 assists. Noelle Bay (22), Jeanette Gibbs (11) and Nazli Dikecligil (10) each had double-figure digs.

The Great Danes will play two additional regular-season games this week in preparation for the NCAA tournament. UAlbany will take part in the Virginia Commonwealth University Thanksgiving Tournament Nov. 23-24, playing the host school on Friday at 7 p.m. and finishing up with Long Island on Saturday at 10 a.m.

Paw Prints

...UAlbany won its third conference championship in the last four years (2004, 2006, 2007) ...

...The Great Danes won the 2004 and 2006 titles in five games, with the 2007 crown coming in a four-game match ...

...UAlbany defeated New Hampshire in the conference semifinal, 3-1, after falling to the Wildcats in both regular-season meetings ...

...The Great Danes won the conference championship for the first time on the road ... UAlbany had won the crown on its home court the previous two times ...

...The UAlbany athletic program captured its 27th conference championship since the Division I ranks in1999-2000 ...

... Volleyball is the 13th team to make an NCAA Division I Tournament appearance ...

... UAlbany volleyball has won 20-plus matches in four of the last five seasons ...

... Kamisha Kellam was named to the all-championship team for the second straight season ...

... The Great Danes will learn of their seed and opponent on Sunday, Nov. 25 at 8 p.m. during the NCAA selection showed that will be aired on ESPNU ...

UAlbany (21-9) def. Stony Brook (19-10), 3-1 (30-23, 30-24, 30-27, 30-26).

2007 America East Volleyball All-Championship Team

Brooke Stanley, UAlbany – Most Outstanding Player

Kamisha Kellam, UAlbany

Ashley Crenshaw, UAlbany

Morgan Sweany, Stony Brook

Jackie Ahlers, Stony Brook

Toni Barnas, New Hampshire

Kathleen Schauer, Binghamton

1 comment:

danesfan said...

Congrats Ladies-It's off to the dance!!!
Brooke was probably right when she said nobody expected you guys to do so well being a young team but you proved everybody wrong. (Wasn't UMBC picked to be at the top?).
I didn't have doubts when I saw you play your first home game-strong and in sync.
Enjoy the experience ...
Congrats also Amanda on being voted ROTY :)

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