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Binghamton falls in conference opener to Albany 3-1

Bearcats win opening frame, but could not hang on

September 25, 2011

Binghamton falls in conference opener to Albany 3-1

Box Score

VESTAL, N.Y.—The Binghamton volleyball team started their match with Albany fast, but couldn’t finish off the Great Danes after winning the opening stanza. BU (8-10, 0-1 AE) was defeated by their SUNY rival in four sets (25-19, 23-25, 15-25, 15-25), Sunday evening at West Gym. Albany improved to 8-9 overall, after starting conference play with a victory over the Bearcats.

“We did some things well, but committed too many errors,” head coach Glenn Kiriyama said. “By not taking care of the ball, we were unable to execute our offense the way we would like to. Albany is a quality team and I think some of our younger players now have a feel for conference play. We’re going to get back to work and use tonight’s match as a teaching tool.”

Binghamton began the match quickly, racing out to a 5-0 lead in the first set. Freshman Amanda Dettmann ignited the run with a service ace then setting up junior Alex Roland for a kill. BU continued to press Albany in the opening frame, connecting on several attack attempts from junior Iva Partaleva and sophomore Grace Vickers. The Bearcats defense held Albany to a negative hitting percentage, while they hit at .281 clip. Following a pair of kills from Partaleva and freshman Kristin Hovie BU held a 20-13 advantage. Albany battled off three set points before a service error ended the frame, 25-19.

The beginning of the second set was a mirror image of the first, with the Bearcats taking an early 5-1 lead on a Hovie kill. The Great Danes kept their composure however, tying the frame at seven. Albany continued to hold their serve, claiming a 9-7 lead. A phenomenal solo block by Dettmann knotted the stanza at nine, but the Bearcats were unable to regain the lead. After Vickers chased down an Albany attack, Dettmann set up Partaleva for a monster kill, which Albany setter Brooke Stanley couldn’t handle, cutting the deficit to one 18-17. The Great Danes would again hold a three-point advantage, forcing a Kiriyama time out. Following the time out BU would again trim the Albany lead to one on a kill and a block by Alex Roland. That would be as close as the Bearcats would get as Albany closed out the set 25-23.

The loss of momentum following the second set seemed to slow down the BU attack. In the third set Binghamton fell behind early and was ineffective in producing points against a tough Albany defense. Two time outs by Kiriyama could not stop Albany’s offense, as the Great Danes took a two sets to one lead, 25-15. The fourth set witnessed Albany jump out to a 4-0 lead, forcing an early BU time out. Alex Roland stopped the bleeding for a moment with a kill, making the score 5-1. The Great Danes continued to click offensively as Stanley and Dunja Prgomet connected on 13 kills, several coming in the closing sets. Binghamton failed to get back in the frame compiling a negative hitting percentage, dropping the final set 25-15.

Partaleva led accumulated a match-high 15 kills. Roland and Vickers each tallied double-digit kills with 12 and 10, respectively. Dettmann handed out 35 assists, quarterbacking the offense to a .141 hitting clip. Sophomore libero Xiomara Ortiz had a steady match picking up 28 digs.

Binghamton is back in action on Friday, Sept. 30 as they travel to Baltimore to face UMBC. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. at RAC Arena. All three of BU’s conference losses last season came at the hands of the Retrievers, including an America East semifinal defeat.

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