Friday, October 28, 2011

Gonzalez Becomes University of Albany Volleyball Career Digs Leader; UAlbany Volleyball Sweeps UMBC - UAlbany Sports 2011

Albany, N.Y. - Laurie Gonzalez became UAlbany's career digs leader, recording a match-high 23 to lead the Great Danes to a 3-0 win over UMBC in America East Conference volleyball action on Friday evening at University Gymnasium. UAlbany posted set scores of 25-21, 25-21 and 25-15 to sweep the Retrievers. Gonzalez, who passed Ashley DeNeal '08 to take over the top spot in UAlbany annals, now has 1,917 career digs.

UMBC jumped out to an early 9-3 lead on three straight kills, including two by Ali Loynachan, prompting UAlbany to take a timeout. Dunja Prgomet recorded a kill to end the UMBC rally. The Great Danes rallied from the deficit, tying the match at 11-11, and then taking the lead on three consecutive kills by Casey Wright. Emily Vandegrift recorded a kill to pull the Retrievers back within one, 17-16, but UAlbany continued to rally, as Gonzalez served for three straight points, including a service ace, putting the Great Danes ahead, 22-17. UAlbany got to set point on one of Wright's six kills in the first, but Loynachan and Dalton Tolliver nailed back-to-back kills to keep UMBC in play. However, a Retriever service error ended the set in UAlbany's favor.

The teams played a close start to the second set, tying the match six times in the early going before UAlbany took control. Progomet took over the service game after a Wright kill, and served for four straight points, including one of UAlbany's five service aces, to put the Great Danes ahead, 11-7. Emily Vandegrift pulled the Retreivers back within 14-13 on a kill, but UAlbany continued to rally. After a UMBC service error, Abbey Wexel served for four consecutive points to put UAlbany up, 21-16. After a block by Tolliver and Alexandria Spaay, Samantha Brostrom gave UAlbany set point with one of her nine kills in the match. Traci Vandegrift took an assist from Brooke Stanley to end the set and give the Great Danes a 2-0 match lead.

The Great Danes, who defeated UMBC, 3-0, earlier this season, were determined not to let the match go past three sets, and came out firing after the break. The Great Danes built up an 11-7 lead on a kill by Wright, and a kill by Traci Vandegrift prompted UMBC to take a timeout, down 13-8. The teams exchanged points on serves before Traci Vandegrift smacked back-to-back kills to put UAlbany ahead, 22-14. A Retriever attack error gave UAlbany set point, and Brostrom served up an ace to end the match and give the Great Danes the three-set sweep.

Wright recorded a match-high 16 kills on .500 hitting for UAlbany, while Traci Vandegrift added another nine, hitting .353 for the match. Stanley finished with 34 assists and eight digs, while Wexel added 12 digs for the Great Danes. Emily Vandegrift led the Retrievers with eight kills, while Spaay recorded a double-double of 25 assists and 12 digs. Libero Ali Goc added 13 digs for UMBC (12-11, AE 2-6).

UAlbany (14-8, AE 7-1) will return to action on Sunday, hosting Stony Brook in America East Conference action at 1 p.m.

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