Monday, November 28, 2011

University of Albany Volleyball Heads to Florida State in First Round of NCAA Tournament - UAlbany sports 2011

Albany, N.Y. - The 2011 America East Conference Volleyball Champion UAlbany Great Danes will head to 12th-seeded Florida State to take on the Seminoles in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Dec. 2. UAlbany, which finished up the regular season with a 21-8 overall record, will face the host Seminoles, who finished up at 24-6 this season, at 7 p.m. on Friday. Also playing in Tallahassee will be Cincinnati (26-9) and Samford (29-4).

UAlbany earned the America East's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament after winning the program's sixth league title this season. The Great Danes are led by the conference's Setter of the Year, senior Brooke Stanley, who averaged a league best 10.97 assists per set and added 2.42 digs and a team-best 33 service aces. Senior Laurie Gonzalez became the first player in league history to be named the Defensive Specialist of the Year four consecutive times after averaging 5.33 digs per set.

The Great Danes also have offensive power from all-conference first-team member Casey Wright and all-rookie team selection Samantha Brostrom. Wright, a senior middle blocker, averaged 3.37 kills on .393 hitting, while also coming up with 79 total blocks during the regular season. Brostrom became one of the Great Danes' top all-around players, averaging 2.81 kills and 2.09 digs per set.

Florida State claimed the Atlantic Coast Conference championship title, led by Jekaterina Stepanova, who averaged 3.26 kills per set. Setters Sarah Wickstrom and Duygu Duzceler split time, averaging 5.06 and 6.17 assists per set, respectively. Katie Mosher led the team defensively, coming up with 4.57 digs per set. Florida State recorded 3.00 blocks per set over the regular season, led by Ashley Neff, who recorded 175 total blocks.

UAlbany, led by America East Coach of the Year MJ Engstrom, met Florida State earlier this year. The Seminoles came away with a 3-0 victory in that match, paced by Visnja Djurdjevic, who finished with a double-double of 10 kills and 10 digs.

"They are nationally ranked, but we are still confident," said Stanley, who totaled 28 assists, seven digs and two service aces in the first match against the Seminoles. "We have nothing to lose. We have a different lineup then when we played them the first time. We are confident and ready to fight with everything we've got."

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