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Binghamton earns hard-fought road victory over Cornell
Junior hitter Iva Partaleva led the Bearcats with a match-high 22 kills
September 23, 2011
ITHACA, N.Y.—The Binghamton volleyball team rode the strong right arm of junior hitter Iva Partaleva Friday night as the Bearcats defeated Cornell 3-1 at Newman Arena. Partaleva tied her career-best with a 22-kill effort that allowed Binghamton to overcome a one-set-to-none deficit and win 23-25, 25-16, 25-23, 25-21. The Bearcats moved to 2-1 against Ivy League foes in 2011 as they head into conference play Sunday against Albany.
“It was a tough match but, I thought we played well, especially after the first set,” head coach Glenn Kiriyama said. Amanda (Dettmann) really got our offense going, which was apparent in the box score. She did a great job of setting up our hitters and allowing our offense to excel. Our defense also stepped up, getting some key blocks in that crucial fourth set.”
BU took control of the first set early on thanks to a 4-0 run that pushed the count to 9-4, forcing a Cornell time out. Back-to-back kills by Grace Vickers and Partaleva extended Binghamton’s lead to 11-5. A pair of Bearcat attack errors would trim the lead to three, but that did not slow down BU. Another kill by Partaleva made the score 21-13. However, a 10-0 Cornell run gave the Big Red a 22-21 lead, forcing a Kiriayma time out. Out of the time out BU was unable to regain the lead dropping the set 25-23.
After a disappointing finish to the first stanza, BU came out determined in the second set racing out to a 4-0 lead. The freshman duo of Amanda Dettmann and Kristin Hovie connected on a termination to push the lead to 12-5. Once again showing their resolve, Cornell competed hard with the Bearcats slicing the score to 15-11 on a kill by Janel Forte. The Binghamton defense would step up this time denying a pair of attacks by the Big Red. The combination of Alex Roland and Julie Chambers ignited the squad with a block assist, which was followed by a wonderfully played solo block by Dettmann. Up 20-11 Binghamton forced a Cornell time out, but it would do no good as the Bearcats evened the match at one set apiece, 25-16.
Binghamton resumed their confident play in the third frame. After falling behind early, the Bearcats regained the lead on a pair of unforced errors by Cornell. A pair powerful kills by Partaleva gave BU a slim 10-8 advantage. The Big Red took the upper hand following a 7-3 run, forcing a BU time out. Trailing by two, a block assist by Vickers and Hovie coupled with a Chambers service ace knotted the frame at 15. As the two teams traded jabs down the stretch, errors by Cornell derailed the Big Red’s momentum and Binghamton would capitalize on the mistakes. Mighty swings from Partaleva and Roland along with stellar back line play from Xiomarar Ortiz and Emily Litwin, secured the third set for BU 25-23.
The fourth set was as tightly contested as the previous three. An early 7-3 BU lead gave the Bearcats a bit of a cushion, but the Big Red would fight back and cut the lead to one, 14-13. A 3-0 Binghamton run extended the lead back to four, however Cornell showed no signs of going away quietly. The Big Red battled back to tie the set at 19. The duo of Chambers and Roland would once again spark the Bearcats, combining on another block assist. Coming out of a Cornell time out and holding onto a two point lead, a third block assist by Roland and Chambers gave BU a 22-19 advantage. The Bearcats would not look back and hold on for the come-from-behind victory 25-21.
Dettmann once again navigated the BU offense to the tune of 50 assists, while guiding the Bearcats to a .280 hitting percentage. Grace Vickers and Kristin Hovie were the other benefactors of Dettmann’s play, recording 17 and 11 kills, respectively.
Sophomore libero Xiomara Ortiz was just two digs shy of her career high, with 28. Chambers and Litwin each tallied double-digit digs with 15 and 12, respectively. Chambers and Roland has four block assists each.
Binghamton’s defense held Cornell to a .127 hitting percentage and knocked down almost 20 more kills, holding a 62-43 advantage over the Big Red.
BU will host defending America East champion Albany on Sunday, Sept. at 5 p.m. The match is the conference opener for both schools, who split their two meetings last season.