Sunday, November 9, 2008

UAlbany Volleyball Clinches A-East Regular-Season Title and Will Host League Tournament

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Vestal, N.Y. – Kamisha Kellam recorded 13 kills and committed only one attacking error on 24 attempts to lead UAlbany to a 3-1 win over America East Conference-rival Binghamton on Sunday, Nov. 9 in a battle of the league's top women’s volleyball programs. With their 12th straight win, the Great Danes captured the regular-season title and earned hosting rights for the conference’s postseason tournament on Nov. 21-22.

The Great Danes, who won with scores of 25-10, 24-26, 25-21 and 25-17, never trailed in the opening set, building up a 7-1 lead early on, taking advantage of four Bearcat attacking errors and a ball handling error. After taking a timeout, Binghamton would not come any closer than five points. Leading 18-10, the Great Danes scored the final seven points of the set. UAlbany hit .440 in the frame and committed only one attacking error.

UAlbany (18-8, AE 10-0) jumped out to a 10-5 advantage in the second set before the Bearcats rallied to score six straight points to take a slim 11-10 lead. UAlbany regained its advantage at 14-13 after a Kellam kill, but the Bearcats took control again by scoring the next three points. Trailing 23-22, UAlbany scored the next two points to go up 24-23 on a Bearcat attacking error and a Cate Eckhardt service ace. However, Binghamton (14-13, AE 8-2) rallied to score the next three points and take the set.

The pivotal third set featured nine ties and four lead changes. In addition, neither team led by more than three points until the final rally. With the squads locked at 13 apiece, a Kellam kill and a Bearcat attacking error gave the visitors a lead they would not relinquish. An Eckhardt kill off a feed from Brooke Stanley ended the in the Great Danes’ favor.

After UAlbany scored the first three points of the fourth set, Binghamton recovered to take a 6-4 advantage. The Great Danes responded by scoring the next three points on kills by Hillary White and Kellam as well as another Bearcat attacking error. After Binghamton’s Dawn Lammert tied the match up at 7-7, Kellam recorded a kill and a block assist to give UAlbany a lead they would carry all the way until match point. The Great Danes sealed the win and home court advantage for the postseason when Kalyn Mostert and White combined to block Anna Lejina’s attack attempt.

In addition to Kellam’s 13 kills and .500 hitting percentage, UAlbany was led by Eckhardt, who finished with 10 kills and nine digs. Stanley recorded 46 assists and nine digs, while libero Laurie Gonzalez led the Great Danes with 23 digs. White added a team-best seven blocks to go along with eight kills. Amanda Cowdrey just missed a double-double on eight kills and nine digs, and Mostert hit .500 on eight kills while also accumulating five blocks.

Michelle McDonough and Lindsey Mueller each had a double-double to pace Binghamton, which has already secured a spot in the league tournament. McDonough had 16 kills and 11 digs, while Mueller contributed 42 assists and 12 digs. Jaclyn Strader finished with a team-best 14 digs, while Lammert led the Bearcats with five blocks.

UAlbany will wrap up conference play at home next weekend when it hosts Hartford on Friday at 7 p.m. and Stony Brook on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Great Danes, who are the top seed in the tournament for the fourth time in the last five seasons, will host the conference tournament at University Gymnasium on campus.


UAlbany (18-8, AE 10-0) def. Binghamton (14-13, AE 8-2), 3-1 (25-10, 24-26, 25-21, 25-17).

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