Friday, November 30, 2007

UAlbany Volleyball beats Cleveland State in the 1st Round of the NCAA Tournament

University Park, Pa. – Amanda Cowdrey and Valerie Sourbeer finished with 11 kills apiece to lead UAlbany to a 3-0 sweep of Cleveland State in the first round of the NCAA Volleyball Tournament at Penn State’s Rec Hall. UAlbany (24-9) controlled the match, taking the three games with scores of 30-20, 30-20 and 30-25. With the victory, the Great Danes become the third UAlbany team to win an NCAA Division I Tournament game, following the 2007 men’s lacrosse and softball teams.

The Great Danes built up a quick 5-1 lead in game one as Cleveland State’s Alexis Korovich recorded a hitting error off a Brooke Stanley serve. A service ace by Teresa Coppiellie followed by a Cowdrey kill gave UAlbany an 8-3 lead. Senior middle blocker Ashley Crenshaw tallied back-to-back kills in a four point swing for the Great Danes in the middle of the game, putting UAlbany up 20-10. The Vikings pulled within 25-18 late in the game, but a kill from Cowdrey and a Megan Mental service error for Cleveland State sealed the game one win for the Great Danes.

The Vikings jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second game, but UAlbany scored four unanswered points to take control. Cleveland State pulled to within 6-5 on a kill by Jenni Ramminger, but UAlbany responded with three straight points to put some distance between the teams. Later in the game, Cowdrey and junior middle blocker Kamisha Kellam combined for a block, one of seven total blocks in the match for Kellam, to give the Great Danes a 23-15 advantage. After a kill by Beth Greulich pulled the Vikings within 26-20, UAlbany rattled off the final four points of the game, ending with a block assist credited to Crenshaw and sophomore Kate Eckhardt.

A solo block by Alexis Korovich on an attack by Crenshaw gave Cleveland State a 3-0 lead to start the deciding game. Sourbeer connected on a kill and the Vikings’ Amy Benz had an attack error to tie the game at 3-3 in the early going. Greulich and Ramminger combined for a block to give Cleveland State a 5-3 advantage, but the Great Danes took advantage of an Eckhardt kill and three consecutive errors by the Vikings and took a 7-5 lead. UAlbany never looked back, steadily building a 22-16 lead on two straight service aces by Eckhardt. The Great Danes had match point at 29-24, but recorded a service error to extend the match. Cowdrey took an assist from Tawny Dahmes to slam home the final kill, and give UAlbany its first NCAA Tournament win as a Division I program.

“We played our best match of the year tonight,” said head coach Kelly Sheffield, who has lead the UAlbany program to three NCAA Tournament appearances in the past four seasons. “The team executed the same plan given to them and they came here and played with a lot of confidence and fight. We had great effort and execution from everyone.”

Dahmes led the Great Danes defensively with 13 digs while Stanley finished with a match-high 33 assists to go along with six digs, two service aces and two block assists. Kellam added seven kills to match her seven total blocks while Crenshaw tallied six kills and four total blocks.

Greulich led Cleveland State with 10 kills while Korvich added nine kills and four digs. Jordan Bateman led the Vikings defensively with 14 digs and also recorded two service aces. Setter Mel Snyder had 29 assists for Cleveland State (23-9).

“I’m proud of the freshmen and the way they came out today,” offered Crenshaw. “This was a bigger stage and a bigger match, but we stayed focused and were able to accomplish the goals we set in the preseason.”

UAlbany, which becomes the first America East volleyball team to win an NCAA match since Hofstra in 1996, advances to the second round of the tournament and will face the winner of the Penn State/Siena match. The second-round match will take place on Saturday at 7 p.m.

UAlbany Men's Indoor Track & Field Picked First in Preseason Coach's Poll, Women Tabbed Second

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Cambridge, Mass. – The University at Albany men’s indoor track and field team has been selected to finish first, while the women’s team was chosen to place second, according to the preseason poll of the head coaches conducted by the America East Conference.

The Great Danes were selected to win their third consecutive men’s conference championship by receiving all eight first place votes (coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams), totaling 64 points. New Hampshire, which earned one first place vote, and Boston U. tied for second in the voting with 52 points each. Binghamton came in fourth with 38 points and UMBC tallied 33 points to round out the top-five. Maine was tabbed sixth with 30 points, followed by Stony Brook (26), Vermont (21) and Hartford (8) to complete the nine-team poll.

In the women’s poll, Boston U. was selected as the preseason choice to finish the season first and repeat last year’s championship. The Terriers received six first place votes to garner 61 points. UAlbany was tabbed first on two ballots and received 56 points for second place, two points ahead of third place New Hampshire, who received the ninth and final first place vote. Binghamton was picked fourth with 37 points and Maine totaled 31 points to round out the top-five preseason picks. Vermont finished sixth with 29 points, followed by UMBC (26), Stony Brook (22) and Hartford (8).

The UAlbany men will be led this season by captains Renauld Buck, Drew Harrison, and Michael McCadney. The Great Danes won six events at last season’s conference championship en route to their second consecutive championship and fourth in the past five years. UAlbany returns 2007 indoor champions David Parker (heptathlon), Pat Weider (200-meters and 4x400-meter relay), Jean Juste (55-meter hurdles), McCadney (triple jump), Freddie Wills (long jump), Andrew Overbaugh (4x400-meter relay), and Nick Lemp (4x400-meter relay).

The Great Danes’ women’s team will be led by captains Jenn Gurrant, Brenna Militello, and Ashley Vives. UAlbany was edged out by Boston U. at last season’s conference meet, despite winning eight events. Junior Kamilah McShine (pentathlon and 55-meter hurdles) and senior Militello (high jump) return this year for UAlbany to defend their 2007 championships.

UAlbany opens its 2007-08 season on Saturday, Dec. 1 at Northeastern’s Husky Winter Carnival at the Reggie Lewis Center. Women’s events begin at 10 a.m., while the men start at 2 p.m.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

UAlbany and Dayton Tangle in Second Annual Gridiron Classic on Saturday, Dec. 1

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Dayton, Ohio – Northeast Conference champion UAlbany will meet Dayton, the Pioneer Football League co-champion, in the second annual Gridiron Classic on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 1:00 p.m. ET. WOFX-980 AM will air the bowl game live from Dayton’s Welcome Stadium. A live streaming video freed of the game and live stats will be available cost-free courtesy of

The Great Danes, who have won seven in a row, wrapped up their first NEC championship in four years with a 49-14 victory over Central Connecticut State on Nov. 17. UAlbany (8-3, NEC 6-0) became the fifth in league history to go undefeated in conference play. The Great Danes are making their first postseason appearance since 2002.

Dayton (10-1, PFL 6-1) shared the Pioneer League title with San Diego, but defeated the Toreros in the regular-season head-to-head matchup to earn a Gridiron Classic berth. The Flyers, who are No. 24 in the current Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Coaches’ Poll, are ranked first in the mid-major polls.

The Gridiron Classic also features the top active FCS coaches in career victories. Dayton’s Mike Kelly, who has a 245-54-1 record, is in his 27th season at the helm. He had led the program to seven league championships. Bob Ford, who is in his 35th varsity campaign, has a 225-161-1 career mark. Ford, the NEC coach of the year, has guided the Great Danes to three NEC crowns.

Second Annual Gridiron Classic

Northeast Conference Champion vs. Pioneer Football League Champion

UAlbany (8-3) vs. #24 Dayton (10-1)

Saturday, Dec. 1, 1:00 p.m., Welcome Stadium, Dayton, Ohio

GRIDIRON Live Video Stream

Northeast Conference Link to Live Video Stream & Live Stats:

Women's Golf Signs Two Student-Athletes During Early Period

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. - University at Albany women’s golf coach Richard Sauers announced on Thursday, Nov. 29 that two student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to play for the Great Danes. Annemarie Kissane from Albany, N.Y. (Albany H.S.) and Stephanie Klein from Thornhill, Ontario (Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto) each made her commitment during the early signing period.

Kissane, a five-year member of the golf team at Albany High and 2007 team MVP, was the recipient of the Northeastern New York PGA Junior Girls Player of the Year award after leading the points list in 2007 and winning the Tour Championship at the Saratoga National Golf Club. In 2006, Kissane placed third at the Srixon Qualifier to qualify to play in the Fidelity Investments Junior Classic, in which she finished in a tie for 13th. She also placed 14th at the Nike Golf Junior at Toftrees conducted by the American Junior Golf Association on June 26-29, 2006. At the 44th Junior Girls Amateur Championship at Drumlins Golf Club in August 2006, Kissane placed second after losing in the finals 2&1. In 2007, Kissane placed 17th at the AJGA’s Fidelity Investments Junior Classic and finished third at the 45th Junior Girls Amateur Championship.

Klein, who had a 92.89 scoring average, finished in the top-5 in all four Canadian Junior Gold Association tournaments she played in 2006. In her first CJGA tournament, Klein placed first at the Orion Securities Junior Classic May 20-21, winning by 10 strokes. She followed that up with a second place finish at the Saab International Juniors Qualifier June 29-30. In her third CJGA tournament, Klein had a three-round score of 269 to place fifth. She capped her 2006 CJGA season with by placing third in the girl’s division at the Nike Golf Jr. Series at Angus Glen Golf Club with a two-round total of 181. In 2007, she shot an 81 at the Elks Country Club in Columbus, Neb. in U.S. Girls’ Junior Sectional Qualifying play and competed in the Royale National Junior Girls’ Championship with a three-round score of 244.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

UAlbany Women’s Basketball Drops a 64-48 Decision to Sacred Heart

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Fairfield, Conn. – Forward Stephanie Ryan scored 15 points, including seven straight in the second half, to lead Sacred Heart to a 64-48 win over UAlbany in non-conference women’s basketball action at the William H. Pitt Center on Wednesday evening. The Pioneers improved to 2-3 overall while the Great Danes dropped to 1-6.

Sacred Heart used a 20-9 run over the final 8:32, scoring the final eight points from the free throw line. Khalia Cain, Maggie Cosgrove and Alisa Apo all hit two from the stripe in the final minute of play to help seal the win for the Pioneers.

UAlbany came out firing to start the second half, and cut the lead to 29-25 before allowing Sacred Heart to score. After Kaitlin Sowinski dropped a jumper in the lane for the Pioneers, Britney McGee hit a 3-pointer and Janea Aiken scored from the right key to cut the lead to 33-30 with 15:46 left to play. Sowinski, who finished with a game-high 16 points, scored five straight over the next two minutes of play and Sacred Heart never looked back.

“Six of our first seven games were on the road and I think that playing on the road this much has hurt us with our youth,” said UAlbany head coach Trina Patterson, whose team has dropped four consecutive contests. “We need to get back home to our gym, work hard, get some of our confidence back and start making better decisions.”

Kristin Higy scored the first four points of the game, as the Great Danes held Sacred Heart scoreless through the first five minutes of play. The Pioneers broke their drought as Cosgrove hit a 3-pointer from the left side of the arc coming out of a media timeout at 14:47. After UAlbany doubled up the opponents score by taking a 10-5 lead on back-to-back baskets by TaNika Thrower, Cosgrove knocked down her second trey of the night to cut the Pioneers’ deficit to 10-8 with 12:02 left to play.

After tying the game at 10-10 with 10:06 left to play, Sacred Heart embarked on a 14-4 run to take a 24-14 lead with 4:48 remaining in the first half. UAlbany cut the lead to six as Janea Aiken was fouled while sinking a 3-pointer. Aiken made the ensuing free throw and came back on the next Great Danes’ possession with a jumpshot to pull within 24-20 with just over two minutes left to play.

Sacred Heart’s Lisa Moray hit her third 3-pointer of the night at 1:37 to put the Pioneers back on top by seven, 27-20. Higy, who finished with nine points for the Great Danes, scored two of her six first-half points at 1:12, but Alisa Apo closed out the scoring for the half with a jump shot from the right key to set the halftime score at 29-22.

Aiken led the Great Danes with 15 points, while McGee added seven. Moray finished with 12 points for Sacred Heart, all from three-point range. Sowinski recorded a team-high eight rebounds and had four blocks and four assists on the night.

Men's Lacrosse: Top 10 Men's Tewaaraton candidates for 2008

Jordan Levine - UAlbany

1. Paul Rabil, Johns Hopkins, Sr, Midfield
Maybe the most impressive physical specimen in the sport, Rabil (6-3, 225) is built like an NFL running back. His passing ability developed last season as he dealt with double and triple teams, so his all-around game should be at its peak this spring.

2. Matt Danowski, Duke, Sr, Attack
The defending Tewaaraton Trophy winner enters the season ranked No. 2 for unfortunate reasons. Early in the fall, he tore a ligament in his foot doing conditioning drills. The ensuing surgery repaired the damage, but the effects might linger throughout ’08.

3. Ben Rubeor, Virginia, Sr, Attack
After a dominant senior class led the Cavaliers to the 2006 national title, Rubeor stepped up big time to lead Virginia last season. Now, with a greatly improved midfield to set him up, Rubeor could have an easier time in ’08.

4. Max Seibald, Cornell, Jr, Midfield
Seibald is about as good as middies get; well, except maybe for Rabil. A strong, fast, intelligent athlete who plays both ends of the field, Seibald is almost impossible to defend with one player. With Dave Mitchell gone, his dodging will be the engine that drives Cornell's offense.

5. Zack Greer, Duke, Jr, Attack
Is the deadliest finisher in Division I still the deadliest finisher without the best passer in Division I? This question might keep Greer from winning this award, although he might get a chance to prove himself without Danowsk: the 2007 Tewaaraton winner may miss some of the season after foot surgery.

6. Alex Hewit, Princeton, Sr, Goalie
The NCAA's best returning goalie, Hewit was a first team All-America in ’06. Most of his defense returns as well, so he'll face mostly shots he can handle. Princeton’s record will determine his chances of winning the Trophy.

7. Stephen Peyser, Johns Hopkins, Sr, Middie
Like Greer, Peyser could be overshadowed by a teammate, but he's definitely a Top 10 talent. And, if you want to compare him to Rabil, Peyser has a nice edge since he's also very strong on face-offs.

8. Danny Glading, Virginia, Jr, Attack
Glading is just about as polished as lacrosse players get. His skills are off the charts with both hands and his IQ and decision-making perfectly fit his offensive quarterback position. Like Greer and Peyser, he has a teammate that might overshadow him as well.

9. Brendan Cannon, Georgetown, Sr, Attack
On a team full of monster middies that can rip it from outside, Cannon's smaller, quicker style stands out like a rabbit running with horses. But he's tough to stop and he's the spark that gets Georgetown's offense going.

10. Jordan Levine, Albany, Sr, Middie
For a middie, 23 goals and 16 assists is really good. But Levine's most impressive statistic in ’07 was his 91 groundballs, an Albany single-season record that showcases his athleticism and all-around game.

Richard "Doc" Sauers: Always the drive to win

It's been 10 years since Richard "Doc" Sauers worked his last basketball game at the University at Albany. But they still call him coach on the Western Avenue campus.
In 1997, Sauers called it quits after 42 years on the UAlbany bench. But he didn't retire, he moved right into the position of women's golf coach, one he still has today.

"Ten years?," Sauers said when asked if it seems that long ago that he left basketball. "It's a long time ago and it gets more blurry as time goes by. I'm so wrapped up with the golf team right now. It keeps me busy."

Sauers was known as a stiff competitor on the basketball courts. He hated to lose more than most, taking defeats hard and long into 42 years of winter nights.

When the basketball career was over, he had 702 career wins and 330 losses. If you ask him about most of them, you'll get a review from him that will sound like the game ended an hour ago.

Like the first one.

"We played RPI in the old Union College field house ... it was Dec. 1 or 2, 1955," Sauers said and it sounds like you're watching "Hoosiers." "We had an 11-point lead at halftime and we scored 13 points in the second half and we lost by one. We played pass and cut, pass and cut, the whole game. My captain passed and cut but never looked for the ball and we lost the game."

Fifty two years later and he still sounds mad about it.

Sauers, a spry 77, still has a hand in the hoops game. He works for America East, UAlbany's league. He observes the league's officials and says he will see about seven of his former program's games.

He says Will Brown, who has taken the Great Danes to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments, has done a good job. And he marvels at the price tag Brown has around his neck to run the basketball team. He is signed through the 2011-12 season at $250,000 per year.

"He's making three times what I made," Sauers said. "But it's a business now. I still watch it, I do. But there is more and more emphasis on recognition and TV contracts. Teams try to fatten up on the patsies and then play .500 in their league and everyone thinks they're good."

On this day, Sauers was hard at work for the women's golf team, trying to land a recruit for next year. He works hard at it.

When then athletic director Milt Richards approached him about running the women's golf team, he didn't have much to work with. His first team consisted of three members of the women's basketball team who had played a little bit of golf.

Back then, rules at matches stated after 10 shots on a hole, it was time to quit and go onto the next.

"We'd have our girls shoot rounds of 125," Sauers said. "It was hard to watch."

Besides coaching the team, he drives the van and his wife, Elaine, another accomplished golfer, is his assistant coach.

Although golf is a calmer sport to coach than basketball, the competitive juices from the coach still flow. He wants to win. He hates mistakes.

"Sometimes when they do something stupid, I bite my lip and look the other way," he said with a laugh. "I just like to have a little action."

By Tim Wilkin

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

UAlbany Places 14 on 2007 All-NEC Football Squad; Bob Ford Named NEC Coach of the Year

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. – University at Albany’s Michael Dungey and Sam Pagano lead a group of fourteen players who have been named to the 2007 All-Northeast Conference Football Team, as announced by the conference office on Tuesday, Nov. 27. The Great Danes, who equaled the 2002 squad’s total for the highest number of all-conference selections, placed five players on the first team and nine on the second team. Bob Ford was chosen the NEC Coach of the Year after leading the program to its first conference championship in four years.

Dungey, a senior defensive lineman, and Pagano, a senior offensive guard, are on the all-conference unit for their third consecutive season. Dungey (6-2, 275) totaled 39 tackles and was among the team leaders in hits for a loss (10.0) and sacks (5.5). He is a member of the first team for the second year in a row. Pagano (6-3, 290) paved the way for a unit that is ranked 16th in rushing among the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) leaders at 216.4 yards per game. After being voted to the second team the last two years, Pagano moved up to the All-NEC first team this season.

Defensive tackle Tom Pandolf, safety Dave Nicomini and offensive tackle Raphael Nguti joined Dungey and Pagano on the first team. Pandolf accounted for 34 tackles, 6.5 hits for a loss and 3.0 sacks, while Nicomini recorded 50-plus tackles for the third straight year with 59. UAlbany’s defense is ranked nationally in points allowed (12th), rushing yards (14th) and total defense (23rd). Nguti, a 6-foot-6, 330-pound right tackle, helped the offense run for a season-high 341 yards in the NEC championship game against Central Connecticut State.

Colin Disch, a senior inside linebacker, becomes the third Great Dane to earn all-conference recognition in four consecutive seasons as a second-team pick. He joins former UAlbany standouts Geir Gudmundsen (2001-04) and Samson Brown (1999-02) in that category. Disch, who missed most of two games with a knee injury, led the team in tackles (61). He is the program’s all-time leader with 407.

Placekicker Jason Fralicker makes his second straight appearance on the All-NEC second team. Fralicker broke his own single-season record with 15 field goals and leads the Great Danes in scoring with 81 points, the fourth-best mark in school history. David McCarty received second-team honors after rushing for 1,369 yards and 11 touchdowns. McCarty, a sophomore tailback, is 12th among the NCAA rushing leaders at 124.5 yards per game. He ran for 100 or more yards against seven opponents, including a career-high 247 in the regular-season finale.

Four defensive players earned all-league recognition for the first time as second-team selections. Defensive end Mark Sheehan had 31 tackles and led the team with 7.5 sacks, while defensive end Jon Volpe added 33 tackles and sacked the quarterback 4.5 times. Outside linebacker Trevor DuPont (31 tackles, 2 interceptions) and safety Dave West (49 tackles, 2 interceptions) were part of a group that ranked sixth nationally in turnover margin (+1.45 pg). Center Kevin Richards and left tackle Justin Tougas blocked for an offense that averaged 29.1 points and 371.9 total yards.

Ford was named the NEC’s top coach for the second time in his career after previously winning the award in 2002. He guided the Great Danes to their third conference championship, including an 8-3 overall record and a 6-0 league mark. UAlbany became just the fifth team in NEC history to go undefeated in conference play. Ford, who is second among active Division I FCS coaches with 225 career victories, also led his team to its first postseason appearance in five years.

UAlbany and Dayton, the Pioneer Football League co-champion, will meet in the second annual Gridiron Classic on Saturday, Dec. 1. Kickoff is 1:00 p.m. at UD’s Welcome Stadium. The Flyers, who have a 10-1 record, are No. 24 in the current FCS Coaches’ Poll.

Monday, November 26, 2007

UAlbany's Josh Martin Named America East Conference Basketball Rookie of the Week

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Cambridge, Mass. – University at Albany’s Josh Martin has been selected as the America East Conference Rookie of the Week in men’s basketball, as announced by the conference office on Monday, Nov. 26. Martin was a key figure in a pair of non-league wins against Lehigh and Sacred Heart.

Martin, a freshman guard from Philadelphia, Pa., averaged 10.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists in two games off the bench. He scored a career-high 10 points and grabbed six rebounds against Lehigh, a 78-66 triumph on Nov. 20, plus canned 3-of-4 from the three-point arc. Martin added 10 points, five rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes in a 75-57 win against Sacred Heart.

UAlbany (4-1) extended its winning streak to four in a row following last Sunday’s victory over Sacred Heart. The Great Danes, who have won 19 of their last 21 games at SEFCU Arena, are off to the program’s best start since the 1996-97 campaign.

Former UAlbany Soccer Goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul Makes Senegal National Team Roster

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. - Former University at Albany goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul has been selected to play as a member of the Senegal national team’s roster for the African Cup of Nations in Ghana. Coundoul, a 2005 UAlbany graduate who is currently playing with the Colorado Rapids of the MLS, was a member of the Senegal team for two recent matches in Paris, France and made his international debut with 45 minutes of action in a 3-2 victory against Mali on Nov. 17.

Coundoul, a two-time America East Conference Goalkeeper of the Year, was an All-America East selection in each of his final three seasons at UAlbany. As a senior, he was ranked third among the NCAA Division I leaders in goals against average at 0.54 and posted a .901 save percentage with 11 shutouts to lead the Great Danes to their first-ever America East regular-season title. In his first full season as a starter with the Rapids, Coundoul started all 30 games and finished third in the MLS with a 1.08 goals against average and registered nine shutouts in leading the Rapids to a 9-12-8 record.

Senegal is currently ranked No. 38 in the world among national teams by FIFA and will start play in the African Cup of Nations Tournament on Jan. 20. Senegal will square off against Angola, South Africa and Tunisia in group play. Coundoul, who was named to the Senegal squad after his play in training and against Mali, will be vying for Senegal’s No. 2 goalkeeper spot behind Tony Sylva.

Men's Basketball Freshman - UAlbany vs Siena

UAlbany's Freshman Shining:

Ambrose - Minutes PG 14.3 - Points PG: 7.3 - Rebounds PG 3.5

Martin - Minutes PG 21.2 - Points PG: 6.4 - Rebounds PG 3.6

Hastings - Minutes PG 27.0 - Points PG: 6.2 - Rebounds PG 4.2

Turley - Minutes PG 10.0 - Points PG: 2.4 - Rebounds PG 2.0

Siena's new faces are floudering.

De LaRosa - Minutes PG: 10.0 - Points PG: 3.2 - Rebounds PG 0.4

Jackson - Minutes PG: 0.0 - Points PG: 0.0 - Rebounds PG 0.0

Priestly - Minutes PG: 2.0 - Points PG: 0.5 - Rebounds PG 0.5

Rossiter - Minutes PG: 8.0 - Points PG: 0.0 - Rebounds PG 0.6

Sunday, November 25, 2007

UAlbany Volleyball to Face Cleveland State in NCAA Tournament

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. – The UAlbany volleyball team will travel to University Park, Pa. to face Cleveland State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Great Danes, who captured the America East Conference championship, drew the University Park Regional, hosted by Penn State on Nov. 30-Dec. 1. The Nittany Lions, the current No. 1 team in the nation, will face Siena in the first round.

UAlbany will take on a Cleveland State team that finished 23-8 overall en route to its first-ever Horizon League Championship title. The Vikings are led by freshman middle blocker Amy Benz, who averaged 2.38 kills and 1.51 blocks per game on her way to being named the league’s newcomer of the year and also earned most valuable player accolades in the Horizon League Tournament. The Vikings, who defeated Valparaiso, 3-1, in the championship game, are also led by sophomore outside hitter Beth Grulich, an all-conference honoree who averaged 3.10 kills per game. Senior setter Mel Snyder also earned all-league recognition after averaging 12.00 assists and 2.14 digs per game.

UAlbany (23-9) won its second consecutive America East Conference title and third in four years, defeating Stony Brook, 3-1, on the Seawolves’ home court. The Great Danes are led by freshman outside hitter Amanda Cowdrey, who averaged 3.51 kills and 3.41 digs per game en route to being named the A-East rookie of the year. First-team all-conference middle blocker Kamisha Kellam, who tallied 3.30 kills and 1.06 blocks per game, and senior middle blocker Ashley Crenshaw, who averaged 3.24 kills and boasted a .337 hitting percentage on her way to an all-conference second team nod, also paced the Great Danes. Setter Brooke Stanley (10.75 apg) and libero Tawny Dahmes (4.26 dpg) earned all-rookie team honors.

“I thought we’d play Penn State but it was exciting to see that it was Cleveland State,” offered Crenshaw. “They are a team that is a better match for us right out of the gate. We don’t know a lot about them, but we will. We have a lot of work ahead of us this week.”

Top-ranked Penn State (28-2) won its last 20 matches to go a perfect 20-0 in Big Ten Conference play on the way to a fifth straight conference title. The Nittany Lions, who were never ranked below No. 3 all season, are undefeated at home and have been ranked No. 1 in the country since Oct. 29. Penn State, which has won 11 Big Ten titles since 1991, reached the NCAA Regional Final last season.

Siena (24-7) won its third straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title after going 17-1 in league play. MAAC offensive player of the year Burgandy McCurty finished the season ranked fifth nationally with a .436 hitting percentage. The Saints are making their third consecutive NCAA appearance after falling to Minnesota last season in a regional hosted by UAlbany, and losing to eventual National Champion Washington in 2005.

UAlbany and Cleveland State will face off at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30, while Penn State will face Siena at 7:30 p.m. The second-round match will take place on Saturday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m., at Rec Hall, the Nittany Lions’ home facility, which seats 5,812.

“We came together the last part of the season,” said head coach Kelly Sheffield, whose team won more than 20 matches for the fourth time in his seven-year tenure. “We are a young team and we didn’t really expect to be here. But we are still having fun, which is a big part. There’s no question we are playing a team that had a great season. It’s going to take our best volleyball match of the year to win.”

2007 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship First/Second Rounds

Friday, Nov. 30 – First Round

Cleveland State vs. UAlbany, 5:00 p.m.

Penn State vs. Siena, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 1 – Second Round

Match 1 Winner vs. Match 2 Winner, 7:30 p.m.

UAlbany Men's Basketball Extends Win Streak to Four Straight in 75-57 Victory Against Sacred Heart

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. – Brian Lillis and Brian Connelly each scored 12 points as UAlbany rallied in the second half for a 75-57 victory over Sacred Heart on Sunday, Nov. 25 at SEFCU Arena. The Great Danes, who have won four in a row, are off to their best start with a 4-1 record since the 1996-97 campaign.

Sacred Heart (0-6) led 44-42 after Corey Hassan made a pair of free throws with 12:18 remaining. UAlbany responded with 12 of the game’s next 13 points to go ahead for good. Tim Ambrose ignited that stretch with five of his nine points. Ambrose converted a driving right-hander and then made a three-point play when he was fouled on a spinning turnaround from left of the lane. Connelly later followed with a 6-foot jumper in the lane. Jerel Hastings and Jon Iati each sank two fouls shots for a 54-45 advantage.

UAlbany’s Brett Gifford would push his team’s lead to double figures by scoring off an offensive rebound with 3:37 to play. The Great Danes, who made 26 of 34 from the free throw line, padded their margin by netting 13 of their final 17 points from the charity stripe.

“We played a good ten minutes of basketball,” said UAlbany coach Will Brown, whose team had lost the previous two years to Sacred Heart, the Northeast Conference preseason favorite. “We had a couple of bad practices coming into the game and it showed. We did a decent job defensively in the second half and got the balance (offensively) we were looking for.”

The first half produced 17 lead changes and two ties. UAlbany ran off seven straight points en route to a 27-20 cushion. Hastings buried an 18-foot jumper and canned a three-point field goal from the left corner to put his team in front. Freshman guard Josh Martin, who had 10 points, five rebounds and four assists off the bench, connected on a drive to give the Great Danes their biggest lead of the period.

The Pioneers regrouped to take a 32-31 margin to the intermission. Ryan Litke, who had 10 points, drilled a three-pointer from the right wing off a handoff from Chauncey Hardy for a 29-28 lead. UAlbany’s Martin answered with a 3-point field goal from the top of key, before Litke rifled in a 22-footer from the left side with 21 seconds left before the break.

“We didn’t play well defensively in the first half,” offered Connelly, who made 6-of-10 from the floor in reaching double figures for the second time this season. “We lost our assignments and there was no communication. Coach (Brown) had some strong words for us at halftime.”

Drew Shubik had 12 points for the Pioneers, who were held to 28-percent shooting in the second half on 7-of-25 attempts. Brice Brooks and Hassan added nine points apiece. Hastings finished with a career-high nine points and five rebounds for the Great Danes, who have won 19 of their last 21 at home.

“They took away passing lanes and were disrupted with their pressure,” explained Hastings, whose team shot 50 percent from the field in the final period. “We finally got ourselves together by playing good defense.”

Saturday, November 24, 2007

UAlbany Volleyball Tops Long Island at VCU Thanksgiving Invitational, 3-1

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Richmond, Va. – Freshman Brooke Stanley recorded 50 assists, 16 digs and four total blocks to lead UAlbany volleyball to a 3-1 win over Long Island University at the VCU/Third Degree Sportswear Thanksgiving Invitational at Alltel Pavilion Saturday, Nov. 24. The Great Danes went 2-0 in the tournament, after defeating the host Rams last night, to conclude their regular season.

UAlbany took the first game by a 30-27 edge, but fell in game two 30-18. The Great Danes rebounded to take the third game by a 30-22 score behind a .385 hitting percentage and clinched the victory on an assisted block by Senior Ashley Crenshaw and sophomore Kate Eckhardt on a Martina Wagner attack to earn game four by a 32-30 score.

Freshman Amanda Cowdrey led the UAlbany attack, recording a team-high 19 kills and adding 19 digs. Eckhardt finished with a double-double of the kill-dig variety for the Great Danes, with 11 kills and 13 digs. Junior Kamisha Kellam added 13 kills and six total blocks, while Crenshaw had 13 kills and two blocks. Freshman Teresa Coppiellie had 15 digs and freshman libero Tawny Dahmes had 12 digs for the Great Danes.

The Blackbirds were led by Shelby Heggie, who had a match-high 22 kills and added eight digs and two total blocks. Wagner finished with a 17-kill, 15-dig double-double, while Svetlana Simic had a match-high 21 digs for LIU.

The Great Danes, winners of eight of their last nine will continue to prepare for the NCAA tournament, as will the Blackbirds. UAlbany (23-9) earned an automatic berth after winning its third America East Conference Championship in the last four years and LIU (22-13) stamped its ticket after winning the Northeastern Conference berth. Both teams will learn of their seed and opponent during the NCAA selection show on ESPNU on Sunday evening at 8 p.m.

UAlbany (23-9) def. Long Island (22-13), 3-1 (30-27, 18-30, 30-22, 32-30).

Youngstown State Edges UAlbany, 54-52, In LIU Turkey Classic Third-Place Game

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Heather Karner scored 17 points to lead Youngstown State to a 54-52 win over UAlbany in third-place game at the Courtyard by Marriott LaGuardia Turkey Classic on Saturday, Nov. 24 at Long Island University’s Wellness Center.

Youngstown State (1-3) built a 49-41 lead with 3:19 to play with four consecutive foul shots and layup by Pendleton, who finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds. The Penguins still led by eight with just over two minutes to play, when the Great Danes responded. Gia Sanders converted an offensive rebound followed with a steal that resulted in a TaNika Thrower basket to cut the deficit to 51-48 with 1:51 on the clock.

UAlbany’s Kristin Higy made a pair of free throws that closed the gap to 54-52 with 36 seconds to play. The Penguins then worked the shot clock, before Kelsey Gurganus failed to convert on a drive into the lane with eight seconds left. Higy grabbed the defensive board and UAlbany called timeout to set up an in-bounds play. But Sherri Mikus’ pass was tipped by a YSU defender and Thrower, who corralled the loose ball, was forced to launch a 25-footer that missed the mark at the buzzer.

"We are right in these games,” said Great Danes head coach Trina Patterson, whose team dropped a 61-54 decision to Holy Cross in Friday’s first round game. “They are heartbreakers, but we are in there every time and it’s just a matter of time before we break through."

Charity Iromuanya made two free throws to open the second half to give UAlbany a 29-22 margin, but YSU would cut the lead to three with 16:40 to play on a Jessica Schloemp jumper. UAlbany’s Mikus and YSU’s Nikita LaFleur exchanged a pair of jumpers to give the Great Danes a 35-31 edge with 13:04 to play.

Thrower added her fourth layup of the game to give UAlbany a 37-31 lead that they would watch dissipate over the next two minutes. Karner hit back-to-back three-pointers to knot the score at 37-all with 9:56 left. Britney McGee hit a layup to put the Great Danes up 39-37, but the Penguins made four consecutive free throws and Pendleton knocked down a jumper to give YSU a 43-39 advantage.

UAlbany took a 4-0 lead in the early minutes of the first half on a pair of made jumpers by Higy and Thrower, but YSU responded with a made trey by Karner. The two teams exchanged buckets over the next eight minutes and were all knotted at 12 apiece with 8:37 to play. Iromuanya, who had eight points off the bench, hit a pair of free throws and then a jumper to spark a 13-2 run over the next five minutes to give the Great Danes a 25-14 advantage.

UAlbany was held without a basket over the next two minutes, while the Penguins went on a 7-0 run of its own that ended with a Karner 3-point basket that cut the deficit to 25-21. Iromuanya sunk two more free-throws with 1:02 to play in the first half to extend the Great Dane lead, but Ashley Pendleton hit the back-side of a pair of free throws for the Penguins to give UAlbany a 27-22 lead heading into the intermission.

Thrower and Higy each scored 10 points for the Great Danes, who fall to 1-5 on the season. Higy, Mikus and Sanders each had a team-high six rebounds. UAlbany shot 31 percent from the field on 18-of-58 from the field.

Friday, November 23, 2007

UAlbany Volleyball Defeats Virginia Commonwealth 3-1

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Richmond, Va. – Freshman Teresa Coppiellie recorded 12 digs and 12 kills to pace UAlbany volleyball to a 3-1 win over Virginia Commonwealth at the VCU/Third Degree Sportswear Thanksgiving Invitational at Alltel Pavilion on Friday night.

The Great Danes took the first game rather handily, defeating the Rams by a score of 30-19. Junior Kamisha Kellam and freshman Amanda Cowdrey led the attack with four kills apiece, as the team hit .400 compared to VCU’s .125 hitting percentage. Game two belonged to the Rams, as they edged the Great Danes 30-28 to even the score at 1-1 heading into the third game.

UAlbany would win the third game by a decisive 30-19 score behind Coppiellie’s five kills and went on to earn the victory by winning the fourth game 33-31.

Kellam finished with a team-high 15 kills and added five total blocks, while Cowdrey scored her 21st double-double of the season with 10 kills and 12 digs. Freshman Brooke Stanley had a match-high 49 assists and five blocks, while classmate Tawny Dahmes had a match-high 14 digs. Senior Ashley Crenshaw had eight kills and six total blocks.

VCU (11-20) was led by Ariel Newman with 19 kills and 12 digs and Elisa Kuehnel, who had 18 kills, five digs and four total blocks.

The Great Danes, winners of seven of their last eight, play Long Island tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. to conclude their regular season and continue preparation for the NCAA tournament. UAlbany (22-9) will learn of its seed and opponent during the NCAA selection show on ESPNU on Sunday evening at 8 p.m.

UAlbany (22-9) def. Virginia Commonwealth (11-20), 3-1 (30-19, 28-30, 30-19, 33-31).

UALBANY vs Siena: Game and Ticket Details

Come check out your UAlbany Great Danes as they take on the cross-town rival Siena Saints Saturday December 1st. Last year was a double overtime nail biter decided by one point so don't miss it! Tip-off is 7PM and the game is held in the Times Union Center in downtown Albany. The women's basketball teams will tip off at 5PM.

Student Tickets

If you live on campus you can get your tickets starting on Monday November 26th at 1PM in the Res Life main office (basement of Eastman Tower on State Quad) until 5PM, and then during normal business hours while supplies last. Tickets will be given out one per student for a $5 donation to the Disabled Student Scholarship Fund. There are a limited number of floor seats, all other tickets will be for the 1st tier.
If you live off-campus you can get your tickets at Copies Plus (Campus Center first floor near the Student Association Office) for $5. Tickets go on sale on Monday November 26th at 1PM and will be sold during normal business hours while supplies last- one ticket per student. Copies Plus has a limited amount of floor seats, all other tickets will be for the 1st tier.

Tickets can also be purchased at the Times Union Center box office for $16-$22 on game day (or online). Non-students can also purchase tickets in this manner.

Bus Transportation

In addition to normal CDTA and UAlbany bus service to downtown Albany, there will be dedicated shuttle buses from UAlbany to the Times Union Center. Buses will leave every 15 minutes from the Science Library bus stop starting at 5:30PM with the last bus leaving at 6:15PM. For the return trip buses will leave every 15 minutes from the corner of Dallius and Hudson starting at 9PM with the last bus leaving at 9:45PM. Note: after unloading students at the Times Union Center, the busses will go pick up students from Alumni Quad.

Women's Basketball Falls to Holy Cross, 61-54, in Long Island Turkey Classic First Round

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Briana McFadden scored 17 of her career-high 28 points in the second half in leading Holy Cross to a 61-54 victory over UAlbany in the opening round of the Courtyard by Marriott LaGuardia Turkey Classic on Friday, Nov. 23 at the Wellness Center.

Holy Cross (3-2) advanced to meet Long Island in Saturday’s championship. UAlbany (1-4) will take on Youngstown State, who dropped a 68-54 decision to the host school, in the third-place game at 2:00 p.m.

The Crusaders, who trailed by seven at the intermission, cut that deficit to 35-33 when McFadden canned a pair of free throws. UAlbany responded with seven of the game’s next 10 points. Gia Sanders netted an offensive rebound and then hit a layup after her steal to begin that stretch. Britney McGee drilled a three-point field goal following another Sanders’ steal for a 42-34 cushion.

UAlbany still led 46-42 after a long-range jumper by Kristin Higy, who had 12 points, six rebounds and four steals. But McFadden, who made 9-of-13 from the floor, erased that lead with a layup off a full-court pass and a three-pointer from the right corner.

TaNika Thrower, who had 11 points and six rebounds in 30 minutes as a starter, put the Great Danes back in front with a steal and layup. Higy sank two foul shots for a 50-47 lead with 5:52 remaining. However, Holy Cross went ahead for good with seven unanswered. Bethany O’Dell, who totaled 16 points and six boards, nailed a 3-pointer off an in-bounds play, before Alyssa May, a 6-foot freshman, hit a jumper. O’Dell completed the decisive run by finishing off a high-low pass from teammate Kathy Gruzynski.

The Great Danes still trailed 57-54 in the closing moments, but had two opportunities to tie. Higy, a 6’1” senior, misfired on a three-point attempt with 29 seconds remaining. UAlbany then called a timeout it didn’t have when trying to in-bounds with 12.8 seconds on the clock which resulted in a technical foul. The Crusaders, who won last year’s Patriot League championship, made their final four points from the foul line.

"We forced turnovers, but we get too excited when we get steals,” explained UAlbany coach Trina Patterson, whose team was coming off road loss against La Salle on Monday. “We have to play with more composure on offense. Once we get there, we will be very dangerous. Our youth showed today - we made some rookie errors. A credit to Holy Cross, they hit some big shots when they needed them."

Tiffanie Johnson added nine points for the Great Danes, who shot 32 percent from the field and committed 23 turnovers. The Crusaders, who had 30 ball-handling miscues, offset that figure by shooting 52.2 percent in the final period on 12-of-23 attempts.

“This was a character win”, said Holy Cross coach Bill Gibbons, who has guided the program to 11 league titles over the last 17 seasons. “We pulled out a 2-2-1 press and that helped get the tempo our way. We weren’t playing well, but we found a way. It’s better to learn from a win.”

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

UAlbany Men's Basketball Wins Third Straight in 78-66 Victory Against Lehigh at SEFCU Arena

Albany, N.Y. – Brian Lillis scored 16 points and Brent Wilson added 15 in leading UAlbany to its third consecutive win in a 78-66 victory over Lehigh on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at SEFCU Arena. The Great Danes are off to their best since 1996-97 with a 3-1 record.

UAlbany used a string of 14 straight points to break things open early. Freshman guard Josh Martin, who had 10 points off the bench, and Wilson canned back-to-back three-point field goals to ignite that run. Lillis fed Jerel Hastings on a fastbreak layup, before connecting on a right-hander in the lane off his own steal. The Great Danes, who made nine of the first 12 shots, expanded their lead to 24-7 when Hastings hit a jumper from left of the lane.

The Great Danes, who have won 18 of their last 20 home games, cruised to a 46-22 halftime advantage. Wilson, a 6-foot-8 senior who made 5-of-6 from three-point territory, buried a pair of long-range jumpers from the top of the arc to end the period. UAlbany shot 57 percent, including 8-of-11 from beyond the line, before the break.

Lehigh (2-2) closed within 15 points twice in the second half, as Zahir Carrington had 11 of his 14 points in the stanza. Marquis Hall, the team’s leading scorer who has held to five points, drilled a 3-pointer from the left wing that beat the shot clock and closed the gap to 56-41 with 13:20 remaining.

Lillis, a 6’5” senior, then went to work by scoring seven of his team’s next 10 points. Lillis, who made 7-of-9 from the field, sank two consecutive jumpers in the area of the foul line. He later converted a conventional three-point play when he was fouled on another high-arcing shot from the circle that gave his team a 66-46 margin with 8:36 to play.

“I didn’t like our energy at the start,” said UAlbany coach Will Brown, who subbed out his entire starting five less than three minutes into the game. “I am demanding and I expect a lot. We have five guys who are eager to get in there and it sends a message that we can’t start like that. It’s nice to see a lot of guys contributing.”

Freshman Al Turley added 10 points and seven rebounds for the Great Danes, who made 50.9 percent from the field on 28-of-55 shooting. Lehigh’s Bryan White, a 6’6” senior, scored 12 points. The Mountain Hawks were coming off back-to-back victories against St. Peter’s and St. Francis, Pa.

“We realize what kind of personnel we have,” offered Wilson, who added three rebounds and two steals. “This is a good group where no one cares about their stats. They (younger players) have taken grasp of what we are doing and putting it together.”

UAlbany 78, Lehigh 66 (Nov. 20, 2007 at Albany, N.Y.)

UAlbany's Michelle Simpson Named a Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-American

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. – University at Albany’s Michelle Simpson was named a 2007 Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-American, as announced on Tuesday. A second team honoree, Simpson becomes the fourth player, and first since 2001, in the to be named a NFHCA All-American in the program’s Division I history.

Simpson, who was also named to the NFHCA All-Northeast Regional Team, earned America East Conference First Team honors for the second straight year after finishing with 13 goals and eight assists for 34 total points as a senior. Vandenberg was named to the all-conference first team and all-rookie squad after finishing the season ranked first in the conference and seventh in the nation with 13 assists.

UAlbany finished the season at 15-5 overall after falling to conference champion Boston U. in the America East Championship on Nov. 4.

UAlbany Basketball Recruit 2008: Lindfors

llinois' annual Thanksgiving week tournaments provide many teams with an opportunity to see themselves in real game action, finally breaking away from intra-squad scrimmages and providing coaches with immediate feedback on team strengths and weaknesses.

Driscoll boys basketball coach Nick Latorre, though, finds himself in a unique position as his Highlanders hit the hardcourt for the 2007-2008 season.

Missing several players due to Driscoll's deep run to the football state playoffs, the Highlanders nonetheless managed to ward off Lisle 57-44 on the opening night of Lisle's 31st edition of its Thanksgiving tournament.

Senior center Jake Lindfors picked up the absent points offensively, pouring in 30 while posing a threat from nearly everywhere on the court.

"He's very versatile," Latorre said of his 6-foot-10 center. "He's a different player from last year. He's just so much more athletic, he can handle the ball so much better. His game's just really improved markedly since last year."

While Driscoll (1-0) ran much of its offense through Lindfors in the first half, the Lions used a balanced attack to stay with the Highlanders, trailing just 27-24 at the half.

Lisle's (0-1) collective hot hand cooled down in the third quarter, though, as Driscoll outscored the Lions 13-4.

"The points in the third quarter was a real killer," Lisle coach Mark LaScala said. "Give Driscoll some credit for that. They weren't just going to let us do what we wanted to do."

The Lions return just two players from last year's varsity squad who saw significant playing time, leaving Lisle with some room for improvement offensively.

"It's a younger team than we had last year … so in terms of recognizing certain things on the floor, certain opportunities offensively, I think we need to get better at that," LaScala said. "I think we will really fast, and if we do, along with our defense, we'll be where we want to be."

While LaScala gets to figuring out his team before Thanksgiving, Latorre will be forced to wait until his full nucleus has returned.

"Our team's going to be a lot different in two weeks," he said. "You hope nobody gets hurt, and get all them guys back, and it'll make us a little bit more athletic."

Until then, Lindfors feels ready to carry the load.

"The whole season, I think I've got to be a leader," Lindfors said.

"It's definitely a little harder without … a couple of the other guys."

By Matthew McClarey

UAlbany Football Remains #3 in Mid-Major Polls; David McCarty Named NEC Offensive Player of the Week

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Somerset, N.J. – University at Albany’s David McCarty has been named the Northeast Conference Offensive Player of the Week in football following his performance in last Saturday’s 49-14 victory over Central Connecticut State, as announced by the conference office on Monday, Nov. 19. McCarty received the award for the third straight week and fourth time this season.

McCarty, a sophomore tailback from Gansevoort, N.Y., rushed for a career-high 247 yards and two touchdowns in leading his team to its first Northeast Conference championship in four years. He scored on a 47-yard run in the third quarter and reached the end zone on a 52-yard scamper early in the final period. McCarty piled up the second-highest single-game rushing total in the program’s history. Tom DeBlois holds the all-time mark with 286 yards against Springfield in 1975.

McCarty reached the 100-yard mark for the fifth consecutive game and seventh time this season. He has the third-best single-season total in school annals with 1,369 yards and 11 touchdowns. McCarty is tied for 11th among the NCAA Division I FCS rushing leaders at 124.5 yards per game.



Albany, N.Y. – Following a 49-14 victory over Central Connecticut State last Saturday, UAlbany remains third in both The Sports Network and Football Gazette mid-major rankings. The Great Danes, who are receiving votes in all three national top-25 polls, captured their first Northeast Conference championship in four years by becoming the fifth team in league history to go undefeated in conference play.

The Great Danes, who also won NEC titles in 2002 and 2003, will represent the conference in the Gridiron Classic on Saturday, Dec. 1. Dayton, the Pioneer Football League co-champion, will host the bowl game. The Flyers are ranked No. 1 in both mid-major polls with a 10-1 record.

UAlbany (8-3, NEC 6-0) finished the regular season with seven wins in a row, the longest streak since 1998. The Great Danes are making their first postseason appearance since 2002 when they played in the ECAC Classic against Duquesne.

The Sports Network Division I FCS Top-10 Mid-Major Poll

1. Dayton (10-1), 2. San Diego (9-2), 3. Albany (8-3), 4. Morehead State (7-4), 5. Iona (7-4), 6. Drake (6-5), 7. Wagner (7-4), 8. Duquesne (6-4), 9. Davidson (6-4), 10. Central Connecticut State (6-5).

Football Gazette Division I FCS Mid-Major Poll

1. Dayton, 2. San Diego, 3. Albany, 4. Morehead State, 5. Davidson, 6. Drake, 7. Monmouth, 8. Wagner, 9. Duquesne, 10. Iona.

Baseball Signs Four Student-Athletes During Early Period

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. -- University at Albany baseball coach Jon Mueller announced on Tuesday, Nov. 20 that four student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to play for the Great Danes. Nate Novak, a 6-foot-3, 235-pound right-handed pitcher from Hudson, N.Y. (Hudson H.S.), Justin Shannon, a 5-foot-10, 225-pound right-handed pitcher from Rensselaer, N.Y. (Columbia H.S.), Zach Kraham, a 6-foot-5, 205-pound right-handed pitcher from Ghent, N.Y. (Chatham H.S.), and Ralph Keppler, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound catcher from Rockville Centre, N.Y. (Oceanside H.S.), each made his commitment during the early signing period.

“This is the most talented group we have ever signed early,” said Mueller, who led the Great Danes to their first-ever America East Conference Championship in 2007. “All three pitchers will pitch right away. At some point in their careers I could see all of them playing after college. The quality of this class is a result of our regional trip last year.”

Novak, who will enroll at UAlbany in January 2008 after two seasons at Hudson Valley Community College, was named to the 2006 NJCAA First Team All-America squad as a freshman. In 2007, he posted an 8-1 record and a 3.00 earned run average, while striking out 82 in 57 innings of work in leading the Vikings to the Mountain Valley Conference championship and the NJCAA Region III Final Four. Novak, the HVCC program’s all-time leader in wins with 16, was chosen the MVC’s Player of the Year and First Team All-Region III as a sophomore.

Shannon, who is currently attending Hudson Valley C.C., posted a 4-3 record and two complete games in 12 appearances in his first season with the Vikings. As a member of a pitching staff that led Hudson Valley to the 2007 Mountain Valley Conference Championship, Shannon compiled a 7.20 ERA in 30.0 innings of work, with 34 strikeouts while issuing just 17 walks. The Vikings, who finished with a 26-16 record, advanced to the Region III Final Four for the 10th time in the last 11 years. Shannon was also a member of the Melvin Roads American Legion team that won the New York State Championship and advanced to the Mid-Atlantic Regional.

Kraham went 7-0 with three saves and a 1.27 earned run average in 12 appearances on the mound for Chatham as a junior. In 55.1 innings, the right-hander struck out 80 batters while yielding just 32 walks and 39 hits. Kraham, who recorded six complete games and two shutouts in his eight starts, pitched a no-hitter against Taconic Hills and registered 10 strikeouts. In the batter’s box, Kraham hit .379 with four home runs, 23 RBI and 25 runs scored. He also had a stellar scholastic football career as a quarterback.

Keppler hit .429 with two home runs and 16 RBI while leading Oceanside High to the Nassau County Class AA playoffs. Keppler scored 11 runs and registered a .472 on-base percentage and a .643 slugging percentage for the 10-9 Sailors.

UAlbany made its first NCAA Tournament appearance after winning the America East championship last season. The Great Danes played Arkansas and Creighton in the Fayetteville Regional in June.

2008-09 University at Albany Baseball Signings

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School)
Nate Novak RHP 6-3 235 Hudson, N.Y. (Hudson / Hudson Valley C.C.)
Justin Shannon RHP 5-10 225 Rensselaer, N.Y. (Columbia / Hudson Valley C.C.)
Zach Kraham RHP 6-5 205 Ghent, N.Y. (Chatham)
Ralph Keppler C 6-2 205 Rockville Centre, N.Y. (Oceanside)

Monday, November 19, 2007

UAlbany Women's Basketball Drops 70-59 Decision to La Salle

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Philadelphia, Pa. – Senior forward Carlene Hightower scored a game-high 22 points, including her 1,000th career point to lead La Salle to a 70-59 victory over UAlbany in non-conference women’s basketball action at Tom Gola Arena on Monday evening.

La Salle jumped out to an early 10-2 lead just two minutes into the game on 3-pointers by Hightower and Jamie Walsh. The Explorers continued to increase their lead, building up a 12-4 advantage with 16:38 left to play. La Salle received back-to-back treys from Walsh and Tara Lapetina to move ahead 18-6 with 14:32 on the clock.

UAlbany was held without a basket for three minutes, breaking the scoring drought on a lay-in by Britney McGee at 9:40 to cut the deficit to 23-11. The Great Danes proceeded to climb back into the game, outscoring the Explorers 11-1 to pull within 24-22 with 6:48 left to play. Joy Sterling and Gia Sanders hit consecutive baskets before TaNika Thrower recorded a steal and passed off to Janea Aiken to put the Great Danes within two.

The teams exchanged baskets to end the half, and a running jumper by Margaret Elderton as time expired set the 30-33 margin as the teams hit the locker rooms.

Both teams hit 3-pointers to start the second half, but La Salle embarked on a 9-0 run to get up by a score of 45-39 with 13:37 left to play. After Sanders dropped a 3-point basket from the top of the arc at 10:21 to pull within 49-46, the Explorers hit back-to-back shots from 3-point range to get ahead, 55-46 with just over nine minutes to play.

La Salle (2-2) held UAlbany without a point for over six minutes, while scoring 10, before Thrower hit a fadeaway jumper in the lane to put the score at 62-48 with 3:58 left in the game. The Great Danes continued to hit jump shots to pull within 10 points, 64-54, with 2:20 on the clock. However, the Explorers scored their last 12 points over the final 4:45 from the free throw stripe, with three each coming from Hightower and Elderton, to set the final deficit.

"We need to be more consistant on the road," said head coach Trina Patterson following the loss. "We are very young, so we're going to keep getting better, but we need to learn that consistancy and how to deal with hostile situations."

Aiken led the Great Danes offense, scoring 14 points, while Thrower added 13 on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor. Thrower also recorded five rebounds, two assists and two steals for the Great Danes. Sanders finished with a team-high six boards to go along with five points and three blocks.

Hightower finished with a double-double for the Explorers, grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds, and added five assists, one steal and one block. Walsh netted 14 points for La Salle, while Elderton added nine.

UAlbany (1-3) returns to action on Friday, Nov. 23, as they face Holy Cross at the LIU Turkey Classic at 4 p.m.

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

Ricardo Estremera Wins IC4A University Championship, Laura Cummings Places Seventh in ECAC Race

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Bronx, N.Y. – UAlbany’s Ricardo Estremera won the IC4A University Division Championship to lead the Great Danes to an 11th place finish at the 99th IC4A Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 17 at Van Cortland Park in Bronx, N.Y. Junior Laura Cummings placed seventh in the University Division to lead the women’s team to a ninth place finish in the 23rd ECAC Cross Country Championships.

Estremera, the second Great Dane harrier in the last four years to win the championship, covered the five mile course in a time of 25:35 to win the race by 10 seconds, to receive his third All-East honor. Junior Brian Yurkewecz placed 16th for the Great Danes in a time of 26:39. Sophomore John Moore finished 67th in 27:37, senior Chris Jimenez placed 95th in 28:20, and freshman David Rothman crossed the finish line in 28:24 to place 99th to round out the top-5 runners for UAlbany. America East champion New Hampshire won the men’s team competition with a total score of 62.

In the women’s race, Cummings completed the 5K run in 18:42 to receive All-East recognition. Freshman Kristine Mun placed 30th in 19:27 for UAlbany. Senior Jessica Chichester placed 43rd in 19:46, senior Danielle Trimpop finished in 20:50 for 99th place, and junior Tashia Alexander crossed the finish line in 21:01 to come in 108th to round out the top-5 harriers for the Great Danes. The women’s team competition was won by New Hampshire with a final total of 68. Colgate’s Elizabeth Kennedy won the women’s race in a time of 18:14.

Men’s Championship (5 miles)

Team Scores:
1. New Hampshire (62), 2. U.S. Military Academy (67), 3. Binghamton U. (151), 4. Bucknell (178), 5. Manhattan (197), 6. Hofstra (222), 7. Fordham (231), 8. Loyola (251), 9. Monmouth (258), 10. Mansfield (265).

1. Ricardo Estremera (UAlbany), 25:35, 2. Jon Anderson (Army), 25:45, 3. Tobias Lundgren (Manhattan), 25:53, 4. Brent Powers (New Hampshire), 25:54, 5. Josh Wooten (Mansfield), 25:58, 6. Pawel Kornaszewski (Seton Hall) 26:13, 7. Matt Lowenthal (Fordham), 26:14, 8. Wesley Dinnan (New Hampshire), 26:21, 9. Joshua Kearns (New Hampshire), 26:23, 10. Christopher Heibel (Loyola (Md.)), 26:23.

UAlbany Finishers: 16. Brian Yurkewecz (26:39), 67. John Moore (27:37), 95. Chris Jimenez (28:20), 99. David Rothman (28:24), 109. Joe Belokopitsky (28:43), 122. Brian Lasky (29:11).

Women’s Championship (5,000 meters)

Team Scores:
1. New Hampshire (68), 2. Colgate (96), 3. U.S. Military Academy (153), 4. Towson (158), 5. Binghamton (178), 6. Manhattan (189), 7. Monmouth (216), 8. Bucknell (238),
9. UAlbany (287), 10. Fordham (301).

1. Elizabeth Kennedy (Colgate), 18:14, 2. Erica Jesseman (New Hampshire), 18:15, 3. Stacey Marion (Colgate), 18:25, 4. Cailin Lynam (Monmouth), 18:31, 5. Ashley Horton (Binghamton), 18:39, 6. Laura LaPlante (New Hampshire), 18:41, 7. Laura Cummings (UAlbany), 18:42, 8. Brigid Moriarty (Fordham), 18:59, 9. Meredith Malloy (Monmouth), 19:01, 10. Meghan Curran (Army), 19:04.

UAlbany Finishers: 30. Kristine Mun (19:27), 43. Jessica Chichester (19:46), 99. Danielle Trimpop (20:50), 108. Tashia Alexander (21:01), 134. Briana McNamee (21:40),

138. Kristin Grab (21:46), 175. Esperanza Blanco (22:11).

SAAC Food Drive Set for November 20th

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

On November 20th, UAlbany’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) will be sponsoring a canned food drive at the Men’s Basketball game versus Lehigh at the SEFCU Arena. SAAC will be on hand to collect non-perishable food donations for the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. Any fans brining donations will receive $2 off admission, to Tuesday Night’s game, or a discount for an upcoming game. Tuesday’s gametime is 7:00 PM, doors open and collections begin at 6:00 PM. For more information call, (518) 442-4683.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

UAlbany Men's Basketball Defeats Columbia, 70-38, in Great Danes' Home Opener at SEFCU Arena

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. – Brian Connelly scored a career-high 13 points to pace four players in double figures as UAlbany posted a 70-38 victory over Columbia in the Great Danes’ home opener before 4,312 fans at SEFCU Arena on Saturday, Nov. 17.

UAlbany (2-1) tallied the game’s opening 13 points in going wire-to-wire for win. Jimmie Covington and Brent Wilson began with a pair of baskets in the lane, before Brian Lillis sank two throws. Wilson, who 10 points on 4-of-6 from the field, later buried a three-point field goal. Connelly ended the outburst by converting an offensive rebound with just four minutes and 25 seconds elapsed.

The lead swelled to 39-18 when junior college transfer Jerel Hastings made two free throws. The Great Danes, who have won 17 of their last 19 home games, settled for a 43-24 margin at the intermission on the strength of 54.5-percent shooting.

Following a slow start to the second half, UAlbany ran off eight unanswered points to build a 57-28 advantage with 11:36 remaining. Lillis, a 6-foot-5 senior, who had 10 points, five assists and four steals, sank two attempts from the line after being fouled on a fastbreak. Connelly scored in the lane when Lillis fed him off a loose-ball scramble. Jon Iati, who struck for 12 points off the bench, connected on a three-point shot to end that stretch.

“This is the team I was expecting to see,” said UAlbany coach Will Brown, whose squad was coming off an overtime win against Central Connecticut State on Nov. 14. “We executed on both ends of the floor. We are good enough to do it by committee where it is a different person every night. After the first three possessions of the second half, I thought we got back to what we did in the first half which is to make them play defense.”

The Great Danes, who set the program’s Division I record for victory margin, moved out to a 30-point lead with 6:48 to play. Hastings added eight points as ten players found the scoring column.

Columbia (1-3) was coming off a solid performance against Ohio State in the NIT Preseason Tip-Off. But the Lions suffered through a rugged shooting night by making 20.4 percent from the floor on 10 of 49 attempts. John Baumann, the preseason Ivy League player of the year, was the lone player in double figures with 12.

“We prepared well for this game,” offered Lillis, who reached double figures for the 15th time as a collegian. “We came in with a better mind set and were not as lackadaisical as the first two games. Getting the win is the main thing.”

Last year’s team was honored in a pre-game ceremony. UAlbany made their second consecutive NCAA appearance after winning the America East Conference championship in 2006-07.

UAlbany 70, Columbia 38 (Nov. 17, 2007, SEFCU Arena)

UAlbany Volleyball Defeats New Hampshire, 3-1, to Advance to America East Championship Final

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Stony Brook, N.Y. – Amanda Cowdrey posted her 19th double-double of the season to lead UAlbany to a 3-1 victory over New Hampshire in the America East Conference Volleyball Championship semifinal at Stony Brook Arena on Saturday, Nov. 17. Cowdrey had a game-high 16 kills and added 16 digs to give the Great Danes a shot at defending their conference title Sunday afternoon against host Stony Brook at 1 p.m.

UAlbany took the first game rather handily, winning by a 30-20 margin. The Great Danes then took a 2-0 lead when they edged out the Wildcats in game two by a 32-30 score, but New Hampshire forced a fourth set, by taking the third game, 30-22. UAlbany ended the match in the fourth game, winning 30-17.

Kamisha Kellam posted double-digit kills for the Great Danes, recording 10 to accompany four digs and three total blocks. Setter Brooke Stanley had a game-high 41 assists and added 13 digs and four service aces. Tawny Dahmes led the team defensively with 20 digs, and joined Cowdrey, Stanley, Kate Eckhardt (17) and Teresa Coppiellie (13) on the five-player list of Great Danes to tally double-digit digs. Ashley Crenshaw had a match-high five total blocks.

New Hampshire, who had defeated UAlbany in both regular-season meetings, was led by Kirsten Bates and Toni Barnas who each recorded double-doubles of the kill-dig variety. Bates recorded 15 kills and 17 digs, while Barnas scored 12 kills and added 11 digs. Alyse Lahti led the Wildcat defense with 28 digs and Sara Heldman had a team-high 23 assists.

The Great Danes split their regular-season matches with Stony Brook, earning a 3-2 win over the Seawolves Sept. 29 at University Gymnasium and falling by the same 3-2 score on Oct. 26 at Stony Brook Arena. UAlbany is looking for its third America East Conference championship, while Stony Brook is in search of its first-ever league title.

UAlbany (20-9, AE 8-4) def. New Hampshire (19-9, AE 8-4), 3-1 (30-20, 32-30, 22-30, 30-17).

UAlbany Wins Northeast Conference Football Championship and Earns Gridiron Classic Bowl Berth

UAlbany will head to Pioneer League Champion Dayton to play in the GridIron Classic. The football program also has a deserved chance to gain a berth into the Football Championship Series playoffs, and will wait until the playoff field is released.

Courtesy: UAlbany Athletics

New Britain, Conn. – Sophomore tailback David McCarty rushed for a career-high 247 yards and two touchdowns as UAlbany wrapped up its first Northeast Conference championship in four years with a 49-14 victory over Central Connecticut State on Saturday, Nov. 17 at Arute Field.

UAlbany (8-3, NEC 6-0) will represent the conference in the Gridiron Classic on Dec. 1 against Dayton, the Pioneer Football League co-champion. The Great Danes, who finished the regular season by winning seven in a row, will make their first postseason appearance since 2002.

“Our offensive and defensive lines just took over,” said UAlbany’s Bob Ford, whose program captured their third NEC crown in his 35th varsity campaign as head coach. “(David) McCarty has the ability to make moves going forward and then he goes by you. This (championship) just puts us in line with the other teams at the university who have achieved excellence since we transitioned to Division I.”

Central Connecticut State (6-5, NEC 4-2) tried to rally from a 21-0 deficit by marching 76 yards in 11 plays with the second-half kickoff. Jo Jo Freeman, who ran for 71 yards on 15 carries, keyed the drive, while quarterback Ryan Holmes completed a fourth-down pass to keep the sequence alive. Holmes, a 6’3” senior, flipped a six-yard touchdown pass to tight end Greg Grochowski.

The Blue Devils, who had won 12 of their last 13 home games, were looking for more on the next time they touched the ball. But Holmes, who completed 10-of-20 for 66 yards, was forced to throw an incomplete pass when defensive end Jon Volpe applied heavy pressure on a play that originated at the UAlbany 35. The Great Danes then dominated the action from that point by reaching paydirt on their next three possessions.

McCarty, who piled up the second-highest single-game rushing total in school history, broke through the line clean and raced down the left sideline on a 47-yard scoring run for a 28-7 advantage with 3:37 remaining in the third period. Sophomore tailback Justin Gannon, who added 55 yards on the ground, did the bulk of the work in setting up quarterback Vinny Esposito’s four-yard scoring toss to tight end Dan Archer on the first play of the fourth quarter. The 49-yard drive began after Michael Dungey, a senior defensive tackle, recovered a Holmes’ fumble.

McCarty, who toppled the 100-yard rushing mark for the fifth consecutive game and seventh time this season, completed his highlight reel on a 52-yard touchdown run with 12:00 to play. He swept around left end and picked his way through the defense on the sideline en route to the goal line. CCSU’s James Mallory added a 27-yard TD run, and UAlbany’s George Williams came up with another touchdown on a 37-yard fumble return to complete the scoring.

“I can’t say enough about my offensive line,” said McCarty, whose team became just the fifth NEC team to go undefeated in conference play. “Their defense was starting to slow down in the second half and it’s easier to run when you have dual threats. Our defense caused turnovers, we made adjustments as a team, and then we (the offense) scored touchdowns.”

The Great Danes opened the contest with an 11-play, 67-yard scoring march. McCarty took an option pitch 16 yards to set up a first-and-goal at the CCSU eight-yard line. After Esposito ran seven yards over left tackle, Omar Johnson reached the end zone on a one-yard blast for a 7-0 lead.

Josue Paul returned the subsequent kickoff 54 yards to give the Blue Devils great field position. But defensive tackle Tom Pandolf sacked Aubrey Norris, who rotates at quarterback with Holmes, at the UAlbany 38. Norris fumbled and Pandolf completed the play by recovering the ball.

“We’re not the biggest or fastest defensive line but we want it more,” explained Dungey, whose nationally-ranked unit forced five turnovers and accounted for five sacks. “We basically came in together as a group. Sharing it (the title) isn’t the same as wanting it for yourself.”

UAlbany used a 14-point second quarter to build a comfortable halftime margin. McCarty set up his team’s second touchdown with a dazzling 56-yard scamper where he knifed through the line and cut back to his left. Johnson, a 225-pound senior, powered over right guard two plays later on a two-yard TD run. The Great Danes went to work again on their next possession with an eight-play drive. In a third-and-seven situation, Esposito scrambled to his right and hit flanker Mike Wall with a 31-yard scoring pass. Wall worked back to the ball and dove in the end zone to make the catch.

“We were confident coming into the game,” stated UAlbany inside linebacker Colin Disch, a senior who had nine tackles. “We had a big stop in the third quarter and weathered the storm. McCarty’s run pretty much took the wind out of their sails. We have great chemistry, everyone gets along, and we are so into it that we want to keep playing through December.”

Paw Prints

... UAlbany won its fifth conference championship since the mid-1990s (Northeast – 2002, 2003 & 2007 and Eastern Football Conference (1997 & 1998) ...

... The Great Danes became the fifth team in NEC history to go undefeated in conference play (Robert Morris – 1997, 1999 & 2000 and Sacred Heart – 2001) ...

... UAlbany tied the program’s Division I FCS record with its eighth win ... the Great Danes went 8-4 in 2002 ...

... UAlbany’s seven-game winning streak is the program’s longest since 1998 ...

... The Great Danes last played in the postseason in the 2002 campaign and defeated Duquesne, 24-0, in the ECAC Football Classic ...

... David McCarty’s 247 rushing yards is the second-highest single-game total in the program’s history ... Tom DeBlois ran for 286 on Nov. 15, 1975 against Springfield ...

... The Great Danes rushed for a season-high 341 yards, the 24th time they have run for 300 or more yards as a Division I FCS program ...

... Senior inside linebacker Colin Disch became the third player in NEC annals to reach the 400-career mark in tackles (408) ...

... Head coach Bob Ford recorded his 225th career victory at the collegiate level ... Ford, the second winningest active coach at the Division I FCS level, has a 225-161-1 career record ...

... UAlbany and Dayton will play in the second annual Gridiron Classic on Saturday, Dec. 1 ... San Diego defeated Monmouth, 27-7, in last year’s game ...

UAlbany Men's Basketball Home Opener @ SEFCU Arena Saturday, November 17, 7pm

The UAlbany Men's Basketball program will be playing in their home opener at SEFCU Arena on Saturday, November 17. Join the veteran and newly rising stars this weekend, as another season of Division I basketball at home begins.

Help celebrate the UAlbany players and coaches from the 2006-07 team as they accept their America East championship rings. Congratulations on winning the America East for the second consecutive season.

Who: UAlbany vs Columbia

Where: SEFCU Arena, University at Albany

When: Saturday, November 17

Time: 7pm

Directions to UAlbany:

SEFCU Tickets

Friday, November 16, 2007

UAlbany Volleyball's Kellam Named First-Team All-League; Cowdrey Chosen America East Rookie of the Year

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Cambridge, Mass. – University at Albany’s Amanda Cowdrey has been named the America East Conference Rookie of the Year, leading a group of five student-athletes named to the all-conference teams, as announced at the America East Volleyball Championship banquet on Friday, Nov. 16.

Junior Kamisha Kellam earned all-conference first team honors while Cowdrey and senior Ashley Crenshaw were named to the second team. Cowdrey, along with classmates Tawny Dahmes and Brooke Stanley, earned spots on the conference’s all-rookie squad.

Cowdrey is the first Great Dane to win the top rookie accolade since Ashley DeNeal in 2003. Cowdrey, who was named the conference’s rookie of the week on four occasions this season, led the team and all freshmen in the conference with 3.47 kills and 4.01 points per game. She also recorded 3.43 digs per game to place her eighth in the league.

Kellam was named to the all-conference first team after earning second-team accolades as a sophomore. She was a top-10 conference leader in hitting percentage (.322), kills per game (3.27) and points per game (3.94), and finished the regular season ranked fifth in blocks with 1.05 per game. She is currently second on UAlbany’s career blocks chart with 283.

Crenshaw earned all-conference honors for the third time in her career, after leading the America East with a .344 hitting percentage and averaging 3.42 kills per game. The senior outside hitter recently recorded her 1,000th career kill as a Great Dane, and is ninth all-time in the UAlbany record book. Crenshaw, a communication major, was also named to the all-academic team, which recognizes all-conference nominees who also hold a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

Dahmes, a libero, and Stanley, a setter, join Cowdrey on the all-rookie team. Dahmes led the Great Danes with 4.24 digs per game after playing in all 28 matches this season. Stanley averaged 10.45 assists per game and recorded the fifth-highest single-season total in UAlbany history with 1,108 assists. Stanley earned the conference’s setter of the week honor twice this season.

UAlbany (19-9, AE 8-4) is seeded third for the America East Volleyball Championship and will face New Hampshire on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in Stony Brook, N.Y.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

UAlbany breezes past Colgate, 86-62,in Women's Basketball Home Opener

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. – UAlbany freshman Janea Aiken scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Great Danes to a 86-62 win over Colgate in non-conference women’s basketball action on Thursday evening at SEFCU Arena in the team’s 2007-08 home opener.

UAlbany (1-2) jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead to start the game, but Colgate fought back, taking a 19-18 lead with 9:18 on the clock on a jump shot by Caitlin Gillard. The Raiders built up a nine-point lead, 33-24, with 2:56 left to play in the half, but UAlbany went on a 13-4 run to end the half with the score tied at 37 apiece.

The Great Danes came out of the locker room firing, as senior Kristin Higy hit a 3-pointer at 18:26 to give UAlbany back the lead. Colgate (0-3) would pull within one, 44-43, three minutes later, but UAlbany would pull away. A shot by TaNika Thrower from long range at 11:02 gave the Great Danes a nine-point lead, 56-47, and Kirsten Peterson made three consecutive free throws to build the lead to double digits with just over nine minutes remaining.

UAlbany outscored the Raiders 12-2 over the next three minutes to give the Great Danes a 75-52 lead with 4:05 on the clock. Aiken, who made 7-of-11 from the floor, nailed her fourth 3-pointer of the game in the late going. Peterson drained two more free throws in the closing seconds to set the final 24-point margin.

“I knew we had more talent than we had shown,” said UAlbany head coach Trina Patterson, whose team played a pair of tight games with Indiana and St. Bonaventure to start the season. “We just needed to get ourselves going. Our constant pressure wears our opponents down.”

Aiken, who played in 20 minutes off the bench for the Great Danes, finished with a team-high five assists and added two steals. Higy added 19 points to go along with a team-high seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block. Sophomore guard Britney McGee also added double-digit points, netting 15 on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor and a 4-of-4 performance from the free throw line.

Sami Kozlowski led Colgate with 18 points and a game-high seven assists. Krista Moser added 13 points and nine boards while Katie Garman finished with 11 points on 3-for-4 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc.

“We needed this win,” said Aiken, who reached double figures for the first time as a collegian. “We were getting a little down on ourselves because we knew we could have won those first two games. This is what we needed to do.”

UAlbany will head back to the road to continue non-conference play, visiting La Salle on Monday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.

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