Thursday, June 30, 2016

University of Albany Women’s Soccer Brings in Two More to Complete 2016 Recruiting Class - UAlbany Sports 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. – UAlbany women’s soccer head coach Caitlin Cucchiella has announced that two more student-athletes have joined the Great Danes for the 2016 season.

Katelyn Brede comes to UAlbany after transferring from Charleston Southern University while Michaela Webb joins as a true freshman. “We are eager to add Michaela and Kate to our roster for 2016,” said Cucchiella. “Both are dynamic players who will contribute to our team in a positive way.”

Katelyn Brede becomes a Great Danes after spending a year at Charleston Southern University. In 2015, she played 14 games with two starts on the CSU back line as a freshman and will have three years of eligibility at UAlbany.

Previously, she was a standout soccer and track athlete and Union Catholic High. Brede played with the NJ Wildcats of the Women’s Premier Soccer League.

Michaela Webb  joins her older sister, Bianca Webb, on the Great Danes. A defender and senior team captain at Wellesley High, she earned the Diane Mullahy Memorial Scholarship as part of the Wellesley United Soccer Club plus was on the school’s honor roll upon graduation. Michaela played for the FC Boston Scorpions in the Elite Clubs National League, also competing for the Boston Breakers Academy. Courtesy: UA Sports

University of Albany Basketball's Shereesha Richards Signs Professional Contract to Play for CD Zamarat in Spain - UAlbany Sports 2016

ZAMORA, Spain – Former UAlbany women’s basketball standout Shereesha Richards will begin her professional career in Spain, signing a contract to play for Club Deportivo Zamarat (CD Zamarat) and starting play around the end of September.

CD Zamarat, also known as Quesos El Pastor La Polvorosa, went 11-15 last season in the Liga Femenina de Baloncesto, the top tier women’s league in Spain. Fourteen teams from across the country play in the league, with all teams playing each other twice.

Richards will report to the team in Spain about a month before the season begins. The team plays its home games in Zamora in northwestern Spain and competes for the Queen’s Cup, the Spanish League and EuroLeague.

Richards joins Julie Forster and Ebone Henry as recent players to play professionally from UAlbany women’s basketball. Richards just graduated from UAlbany after a stellar collegiate career, finishing as a two-time All-American and three-time America East Player of the Year. In four years, Richards tallied 2,440 points, 1,053 rebounds and 271 steals, shooting 58.9% from the field.

Courtesy: UA Sports

University of Albany Lacrosse's Merrick Thomson Returns to U19 Team Canada as Assistant Coach for FIL U19 World Championship in July - UAlbany Sports 2016

COQUITLAM, B.C. – UAlbany men’s lacrosse assistant coach Merrick Thomson will serve as the offensive coordinator for the U19 Canadian National Team in the upcoming U19 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) U19 World Championship next month.

Thomson, a native of Ontario and former member of the national team, returns to the U19 Canadian National Team after being an assistant coach with it last year. Team Canada plays in the top-level Blue Division along with the United States, the Iroquois Nationals, Australia and England. “Anytime you get to be a part of a World Championship and work with the best athletes and coaches in the world it is a true privilege,” said Thomson in the Canadian Lacrosse Association press release.

Canada has been the runner-up in the last four FIL U19 World Championships, played every four years, and is seeking its first-ever title in this tournament.

The tournament will be held from July 7-16 at the Coquitlam Town Center in British Columbia, Canada. Thomson serves as the assistant coach and offensive coordinator for UAlbany after rejoining the team last summer. He stands third all-time in UAlbany history with 244 career points and graduated in 2007. He will serve under U19 Canadian head coach Taylor Wray.

Courtesy: UA Sports

University of Albany Field Hockey Adds Two More for 2016 Campaign -UAlbany Sports 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. – The UAlbany field hockey team has added two more freshmen for the 2016 season as Alyssa Curtis and Viola Von der Mühlen join the Great Danes.

These two join Baylee Burghardt, Emily Fraser and Julia Kim as the true freshmen for the 2016 Great Danes. They look to bolster a team that stands as the two-time defending America East champion and a top-10 team in the national rankings the past two years. "We are very excited to add Alyssa and Viola to our team,” said head coach Phil Sykes. “They will add a great deal of skill and toughness to our attack and defense.”

HOF Yolanda Griffith Comes to University of Albany Women’s Basketball as Assistant Coach - UAlbany Sports 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. – Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame member, two-time gold medalist and 11-year WNBA veteran Yolanda Griffith has joined the UAlbany women’s basketball team as an assistant coach starting in the 2016-17 season.

 “I’m honored to be a part of the Great Dane family, and I’m looking forward to continuing the winning tradition that's been started,” said Griffith. “There is plenty of work to be done, but myself, the coaches and the players are going to work tirelessly to keep it going.”

 “Yolanda Griffith is a women’s basketball icon; decorated as one of the greatest players of all time, her on-court coaching presence is felt immediately,” said UAlbany head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee. “Coach Yo’s infectious personality and ability to develop players sets her apart. Behind the scenes, she is a proven recruiter: her positive energy and strong work ethic will make it easy for her to connect and build bonds with both our current UAlbany players and our high level recruits. I am thrilled to welcome Coach Yo to our UAlbany women’s basketball family!”

 Griffith formerly was an assistant coach at UMass from 2014-16, Lafayette for the 2013-14 season and Dartmouth from 2011-13. She also served as an adjunct assistant coach with the Indiana Fever in the WNBA in 2009.

Griffith had an 11-year career in the WNBA, including being a seven-time All-Star and the league’s MVP in 1999 with the Sacramento Monarchs. The 2nd overall pick in 1999 was a member of the league’s all-decade team and led the Monarchs to the 2005 WNBA title, being named Finals MVP.

In her career, Griffith shot 50.6% from the floor, finishing with 4,238 points, 2,444 rebounds, 529 steals, 453 assists and 323 blocks. In 2011, she was voted as one of the top-15 players of all-time in WNBA history. She also played professionally in China, Germany, Italy, Russia and South Korea. 

Griffith also was a member of the U.S. National Team in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and the 2004 Olympics in Athens, helping the United States to the gold medal in each, combining to go a perfect 16-0 against its international competition.

In 2014, Griffith was elected to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in her first year of eligibility. She formerly was a member of the Women’s Developmental National Team Committee for USA Basketball, evaluating athletes, coaches and policies as the athlete representative. She helped review hundreds of athletes for 35 spots for trails for USA Basketball, including the U16 and U17 Developmental Teams. Griffith joins Mary Grimes and AJ Cohen as assistant coaches under Bernabei-McNamee for Coach Mac’s first season at UAlbany.

Courtesy: UA Sports

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

University of Albany's Hooley Signs Professional Basketball Contract In UK - UAlbany Sports 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Former University at Albany standout Peter Hooley has signed a professional contract with the Plymouth Raiders of the British Basketball League (BBL) -- the premier men's professional basketball league in the United Kingdom.

 “I am extremely happy for Peter as he gets ready to begin a professional playing career,” said UAlbany head coach Will Brown. “He enjoyed five great years at UAlbany and was a tremendous ambassador of our program, athletic department, and University on and off the court. This is a tremendous opportunity for Peter and I am confident that he will enjoy continued success and be a great asset to Plymouth moving forward.”

Hooley, a native of Adelaide, Australia, was a five-year member of the UAlbany men’s basketball team and concluded his career in March with 1,519 points, 336 assists, 410 made free throws and a career free throw percentage of 80.2 percent. Hooley finished his tenure ranked fourth all-time in made free throws at UAlbany, seventh in scoring, eighth in free throw percentage, and ninth all-time in assists.

A two-time America East Tournament Most Outstanding Player, Hooley led the Great Danes to three NCAA Tournament appearances and made national headlines when he hit the championship-winning three-pointer in 2015.

Hooley also excelled in the classroom, earning a dual degree in journalism and psychology. A three-time CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team selection and America East All-Academic pick,

Hooley also earned the America East Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award, 2015 SUNY Chancellor’s Award, and the 2016 President’s Athlete Leadership Award at UAlbany. Hooley is the second Great Dane to ink a professional basketball contract this month, following teammate Ray Sanders who signed with BC Nokia of the Korisliiga League in Finland. Courtesy: UA Website

Monday, June 27, 2016

University of Albany's Hibbard, Sherman Compete At Junior Nationals - UAlbany Sports 2016

CLOVIS, Calif. - One year ago, the University at Albany track & field program sent three men to compete in the USATF Junior Championships. This year, they sent two women, who competed in three events.

Friday Freshman Cara Sherman competed first for UAlbany, in the 5,000m. Sherman, a local product hailing from Rotterdam, N.Y., ranks fourth all-time outdoors in the women’s 5,000m in UAlbany history, with a personal-best time of 17:00.21, set earlier this year. She placed ninth overall in her race on Friday, crossing the line in 17:40.71. Saturday Sherman was in action again on Saturday, where she competed in the 3,000m. Sherman ranks fifth all-time outdoors at UAlbany in this event, with a personal-best time of 9:57.62. This time, Sherman placed 10th overall in 10:05.74.

Also competing Saturday was freshman high jumper and school record holder Anika Hibbard. In her first season, Hibbard set the school record in the outdoor high jump when she cleared a height of 5’-9.25”, surpassing the previous record of 5’-8.5” set by Rochelle Reid in 2015. Hibbard also placed 10th overall, clearing a height of 5’-5.75”. Though Hibbard and Sherman will not move on to represent Team USA, a number of their teammates still are scheduled to compete internationally over the summer, including at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Friday, June 24, 2016

University of Albany CAA Football’s Clash With Elon To Air On American Sports Network, Season-Opener At Buffalo On ESPN3

RICHMOND, Va. -- Announced by the CAA, the University at Albany football team’s matchup with Elon on Oct. 29 will air live on the American Sports Network. The first-time meeting will kickoff at 12 p.m. on Bob Ford Field at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium.

UAlbany’s game is a part of CAA Football’s extensive 30-game television package, which includes 18 conference matchups in conjunction with the league’s broadcast partners, NBC Sports Regional Networks and the American Sports Network. NBC Sports Regional Networks – which includes CSN Mid-Atlantic, CSN Philadelphia, CSN New England and SNY – will carry 11 CAA Football games and one non-conference contest this season.

NBC Sports Regional Networks deliver more than 2,200 live sporting events annually, along with award-winning breaking news, comprehensive analysis, digital content and original programming to more than 43 million homes.

The American Sports Network package will feature eight CAA Football games this fall. ASN – the collegiate sports initiative of the Sinclair Broadcast Group – has affiliates that reach approximately 40 percent of U.S. households. Sinclair operates 173 television stations airing 483 channels in 81 markets, and has affiliations with all the major networks nationwide.

In addition to the conference package, at least 10 non-conference contests featuring CAA Football teams will air nationally on ESPN3. The Great Danes’ season-opening contest at Buffalo is one of those games. UAlbany will take on the FBS Bulls at 7 p.m. on Sept. 2.

CAA Football’s televised games will also be available on a variety of desktop, mobile, tablet and smart TV devices. The NBC Sports app will stream each of the CSN games at no cost to authenticated subscribers.

In addition, will provide free digital coverage of numerous CAA Football contests throughout the season. Specific CSN and ASN clearances will be announced weekly throughout the season.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Defending America East Tournament Champion University of Albany Women’s Soccer Releases 2016 Schedule - UAlbany Sports 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. – The UAlbany women’s soccer team, looking to defend its first-ever America East Tournament title, has announced is schedule for the 2016 season including seven home games and a full conference slate.

The Great Danes will play 17 games in the regular season, including seven at home at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium. UAlbany will play seven opponents across New York plus foes from nine different states. “Our goal this year is to expose the 2016 team to a variety of talented teams early on so that we can be best prepared as possible for conference play,” said UAlbany head coach Caitlin

UAlbany is coming off its best season in program history in 2015, going 11-9-1 overall and tying for second in America East play with a 4-3-1 conference record. The Great Danes defeated 1-seed Hartford 2-1 on the road for the program’s first-ever America East Tournament championship and automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament, where the team fell to eventual national champion Penn State.

All home games for UAlbany women’s soccer are free to attend for the public.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

University of Albany Volleyball Releases 2016 Schedule - UAlbany Sports 2016

2016 UAlbany Volleyball Schedule ALBANY, N.Y. – UAlbany volleyball head coach MJ Engstrom has released the team’s 2016 schedule, including four in-season tournaments and a full conference slate. The Great Danes have 24 matches scheduled in its regular season, starting with four in-season tournaments across four different states. Those are followed by a 12-match America East schedule, including six home matches at the University Gym. “We are very excited about this year’s schedule,” said Engstrom. “We have a good mix of play throughout the country to push ourselves before we enter America East play.” UAlbany was a 2015 America East regular season co-champion and had its best season overall and in league play since 2011. Going 17-9 overall and 11-1 in league play, UAlbany was the co-champion of the Golden Flashes Classic and the Colgate Classic and shared the America East regular season title with New Hampshire, falling to the Wildcats in the conference title match. All home matches for UAlbany volleyball are free to attend for the public. In addition, all America East matches, home and road, will be broadcast online for free on UAlbany will begin its season in the Pacific Time Zone in Las Vegas to compete on the campus of UNLV. The Great Danes take on reigning WAC champion New Mexico State at 3 p.m. ET on Friday, August 26th, following with host UNLV at 10 p.m. ET that night. The next day, UAlbany takes on UC Santa Barbara at 2:30 p.m. ET. The following weekend, the Great Danes bus east to New Haven, Connecticut to play in the Yale Invitational. UAlbany takes on tournament host Yale on Friday, September 2nd at 7 p.m. then plays a pair of matches on Saturday, September 3rd, battling Rutgers at 12:30 p.m. and Iona at 4:30 p.m. UAlbany will go wheels up to Chicago next weekend to play at DePaul University. The team begins the tournament against Illinois-Chicago on Friday, September 9th at 5:30 p.m. ET then follows with two Saturday matches, playing tournament host DePaul at 1 p.m. ET and South Florida at 5:30 p.m. ET. The Great Danes play one final in-season tournament in the West Point Invitational. UAlbany suits up against UConn and St. John’s on Friday, September 16th at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. respectively, then against tournament host Army West Point on Saturday, September 17th at 5 p.m. UAlbany begins America East play on the road against in-state rival Binghamton on Friday, September 23rd at 7 p.m. in Vestal. The next weekend, UAlbany has its first home matches. The team has its home opener on Friday, September 30th at 7 p.m. against UMass Lowell, followed by Hartford on Sunday, October 2nd at 2 p.m. Back on the road goes UAlbany for a pair of matches, taking on UMBC in Baltimore on Friday, October 7th at 7 p.m. then Stony Brook on Long Island on Sunday, October 9th at 1 p.m. UAlbany wraps up the first half of America East play with a rematch against New Hampshire at home on Sunday, October 16th at 2 p.m. UAlbany remains home for its annual Dig Pink Match on Friday, October 21st, taking on Binghamton at 7 p.m. Two road matches follow in the next weekend as the Great Danes take on Hartford on Friday, October 28th at 7 p.m. and UMass Lowell on Sunday, October 30th at 1 p.m. The Purple and Gold play the final two home regular season matches in the next weekend, hosting rival Stony Brook for Senior Night on Friday, November 4th at 7 p.m. and proceeding with UMBC on Sunday, November 6th at 2 p.m. The regular season finishes against New Hampshire on Friday, November 11th at 7 p.m. in Durham in a rematch of the 2014 and 2015 America East championships. The America East Tournament will be hosted by the league’s regular season champion, with the top four teams competing. The America East semifinal round will be either on Friday, November 18th or Saturday, November 19th with the title match being the day after the semifinals.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

University of Albany's Vadnais Breaks School Record - UAlbany Sports 2016

BURLINGTON, V.T.—The University at Albany’s women’s track & field member Paige Vadnais competed in her last meet for the Great Danes at the Vermont State Men and Women Decathlon Championships earlier this week. Vadnais, a recent graduate, competed as the first female to represent UAlbany in the decathlon. She earned first place overall with a new school record of 6,084 points. In the ten events, she placed first in the 100-meter dash, running a 12.85, first in the javelin with a mark of 82-05, first in the 400-meter dash in 58.43, first in the long jump with a mark of 16-11.50, first in the high jump with a mark of 5-05.00, first in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 5:24.10, and tied for first in the 100-meter hurdles in 15.12. She also earned third in the pole vault with a mark of 10-10.75, fourth in the discus with a mark of 49-04, and fourth in the shot put with a mark of 24-03.75. In addition to holding the number one spot for UAlbany in the women's decathlon, Vadnais is also earned the second place spot in the heptathlon during the 2016 outdoor season with 4,825 points.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Ray Sanders Signs Professional Men's Basketball Contract In Finland - UAlbany Sports 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. -- University at Albany men’s basketball player Ray Sanders has signed a professional contract to play for BC Nokia of the Korisliiga League in Finland -- the country’s top league. “I couldn’t be happier for Ray. He is a tremendous young man who had two great years at UAlbany,” said Great Danes head coach Will Brown. “BC Nokia is getting a great person and a player who will make an immediate impact and help them win a lot of games. I am confident that Ray will enjoy his time in Finland and have a very productive professional playing career.” In his two seasons at UAlbany, Sanders was a two-time all-conference selection and all-defensive team pick. As a senior, the 6’4 guard was named First Team All-America East, totaling 52 steals and averaging 12.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. A native of Tuscaloosa, Ala., Sanders averaged 9.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, and accrued 45 steals as a junior, helping lead the Great Danes to a conference title and NCAA Tournament berth in 2015.

Campbell and Claxton Named to All-American Teams - UAlbany Sports 2016

NEW ORLEANS—After the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Oregon this past weekend, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association named All-America teams for the 2016 season. The University at Albany’s Matthew Campbell and Grace Claxton were among the honorees. Junior Matthew Campbell was named to the All-America First Team for his performance in the men’s high jump. He claimed seventh place with a personal best mark of 7-2¼. Senior Grace Claxton earned a spot on the All-America second team for her performance in the women’s 400-meter hurdles. Claxton ran a 56.83 to finish third in her semi-finals heat and ninth overall. Her finish was the best performance by a UAlbany female track & field athlete. Both athletes will continue their outdoor season. Claxton has locked a spot in the 400-meter hurdles for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, while Campbell looks to qualify in the men’s high jump.

Monday, June 13, 2016

UAlbany Field Hockey's Paula Heuser Earns CoSIDA Academic All-America Women’s At-Large Second Team Honors - UAlbany Sports 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. – UAlbany field hockey junior Paula Heuser continues to earn national honors, being selected as a College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-American for the first time. Heuser was named to the 2015-16 Division I Women’s At-Large Second Team after earning All-District I honors the previous two seasons. She joins UAlbany women’s soccer student-athlete Krista Fitzpatrick as Great Danes who have earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors this season. The junior midfielder and two-time America East Scholar-Athlete of the Year stands with a 3.83 GPA in business administration. She is a three-time member of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) All-Academic Squad and a two-time selection to the America East All-Academic Team. On the field, she is the NCAA active leader in goals and points scored, standing as the two-time NFHCA Northeast Player of the Year and America East Midfielder of the Year. This past season, she led UAlbany to its second straight America East title and NCAA Tournament appearance with 34 goals and 12 assists. The CoSIDA Academic All-America teams are voted on by sports information directors across the country. The all-district student-athletes were eligible for All-America. Heuser was selected as one of 45 All-Americans in the at-large category across 12 different women’s sports: beach volleyball, bowling, crew, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, swimming and diving, tennis and water polo.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Baseball's Woods Taken By San Francisco Giants In Eighth Round Of 2016 MLB Draft - UAlbany Sports 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. – Junior right-handed pitcher Stephen Woods was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the eighth round (No. 245 overall) of the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft, Friday evening. Woods, a native of Dix Hills, N.Y., accrued a 4-5 overall record and a 5.57 ERA in his junior campaign at the University at Albany. Making 12 starts on the mound, Woods logged 88 strikeouts in 64.2 innings. As a sophomore, Woods was named second team all-conference by the America East. Out of high school, Woods was picked in the sixth round (No. 188 overall) by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2013 MLB Draft, but chose not to ink a deal. Woods is the highest drafted Great Dane in program history. UALBANY BASEBALL IN THE MLB DRAFT 1974 - Terry Kenny, San Francisco, 9th round 2001 - Steve Checksfield, Houston, 26th round - No. 776 overall 2002 - Mike Grasso, Atlanta, 11th round- No. 335 overall 2004 - Adam Kroft, San Diego, 30th round- No. 882 overall 2007 - Tom Hill, Kansas City, 34th round- No. 1,023 overall 2008 - Mike Konstanty, Cincinnati, 39th round- No. 1,169 overall 2011 - Dave Kubiak, Tampa Bay, 36th round- No. 1,110 overall 2012 - Sean Lucas, Cincinnati, 25th round- No. 772 overall 2013 - Stephen Woods, Tampa Bay, 6th round - No. 188 overall (HS – did not sign) 2016 - Stephen Woods, San Francisco, 8th round - No. 245 overall

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

University of Albany Takes Home Fourth Consecutive Commissioner’s Cup UAlbany Sports 2016

BURLINGTON, Vt. – After winning eight of the America East’s 18 championships for the third-straight year, the University at Albany has claimed the conference’s Stuart P. Haskell, Jr. Commissioner’s Cup for the fourth-straight year and fifth time in school history. The league announced the final cup standings Tuesday evening at its yearly awards dinner in Burlington, Vt. The Commissioner’s Cup annually recognizes the strongest athletic program in the America East as determined by a scoring system that rewards a school for success both during the regular season and championship competition in the conference’s 18 sports.

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