Monday, November 17, 2008

Regular Season Champion UAlbany Volleyball Set To Hold America East Volleyball Championship This Weekend

The Great Danes, by virtue of their number one seed, wrapped up the right to host the event last weekend and will face fourth-seeded University of Maine at 7 p.m. Friday, November 21 in the semifinals. The other semifinal will pit two seed Binghamton University and three seed UMBC at 4 p.m. The final between the two semifinal winners is scheduled for Saturday, November 22 at 4 p.m.

The Great Danes wrapped up just the third undefeated America East regular season since the conference moved to the current format of playing each league team twice. Albany has hosted the tournament four of the last five years, with the exception of last year's championship, and is the two-time defending champion. The Great Danes have won three out of the last four championships, earning automatic berths into the NCAA Tournament each time.

Besides Albany, Binghamton is the last team to win the tournament title, doing so in 2005. Binghamton dropped both matches to the Great Danes this year, but is 3-1 against the rest of the championship competition this season.

UMBC, entering the weekend still without an official playoff berth, moved into the third spot in the standings via a tiebreaker with Maine that came down to percentage of points won in head-to-head competition with the Black Bears. The Retrievers, who came one set away from winning the 2006 trophy, returns to the tournament after missing out on a berth last season.

Maine also returns to the America East Championship after a brief drought. The Black Bears made their last appearance in 2005 and are still looking for that elusive first championship title. Maine has not finished higher than third since the program began in 1999 and but has reached the title game in 2004 and 2001 via semifinal upsets.

The 2008 America East Volleyball Championship will be held at University Gymnasium on the Albany campus and will begin this Friday, November 21. The champion, who will receive an automatic berth into the NCAA Championship, will be crowned on Saturday, November 22. The Championship banquet will take place the eve of the tournament, also on the Albany campus.

2008 America East Volleyball Championship
University Gymnasium, Albany, N.Y.
Friday, November 21 - Semifinals
#2 Binghamton vs. #3 UMBC, 4 p.m.
#1 Albany vs. #4 Maine, 7 p.m.

Saturday, November 22 - Final
Binghamton/UMBC vs. Albany/Maine, 4 p.m.

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