Saturday, September 17, 2016

University of Albany Women's Volleyball Defeats Army, Takes Invitational Trophy - UAlbany Sports 2016

WEST POINT, N.Y. – The UAlbany volleyball team came back from down 2-1 to defeat Army in five (25-22, 20-25, 22-25, 25-22, 15-9) to earn the Army Invitational championship with three victories over the weekend.

 With the win, UAlbany (6-6) has won four straight matches to enter conference play. All four victories came against teams that stood at least three matches over .500 going into the contest.

 In addition, it is the first time UAlbany has won all three matches in an in-season tournament in four years. “We showed a lot of poise today; Army came out fired up, and we were a little emotionally spent from two wins yesterday,” said UAlbany head coach MJ Engstrom. “We switched the lineup and started serving at the same aggressive level as we did yesterday. I’m really proud of the way we pushed through this match, we used everybody, showed some grit and dug down deep to come out with a win.”

 Laini Leindecker was named the tournament MVP after earning a double-double of 18 kills and 20 digs against Army. In total, she had three double-doubles in the tournament, totaling 44 kills and 48 digs.

 Nicole Otero also earned a place on the All-Tournament Team, notching 79 digs, six aces and 14 assists, including 40 digs and six assists against Army (8-6). “Every single person gave it their all, and we played with heart,” said Leindecker. “I am proud of how we handled that as a team, and I am excited to see how we build off this.”

 Mikala McCauley also had a double-double with 29 assists and 12 digs. Akuabata Okenwa tallied nine kills and five blocks while Chloe Evering had 12 kills, four digs and three blocks. For Army, Sydney Morriss hit .405 with 17 kills and six digs. Olivia Fairfield had 15 kills and three blocks while Allie Strong had a double-double of 10 kills and 21 digs.

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