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NCAA Bound!! Volleyball Beats top-seeded Albany in America East Final 3-0
Bearcats dethrone champs, will advance to NCAA tournament for second time in last four years
November 17, 2012Tweet
Contact: Terrence Lollie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ALBANY, N.Y. – The Binghamton volleyball team rallied from large deficits in the second and third sets to sweep two-time defending champion Albany to win the America East title, Saturday night at University Gym on the campus of the University at Albany. The Bearcats captured their third conference championship defeating the Great Danes by scores of 25-17, 28-26 and 26-24. Binghamton also won conference titles in 2005 and 2009.
Binghamton was led by the championship’s Most Outstanding Player Grace Vickers and All-Tournament selections Iva Partaleva and Amanda Dettmann. Vickers posted 10 kills and seven block assists while Partaleva recorded a double-double with 19 kills and 13 digs. Dettmann handed out 37 assists, picked up nine digs and knocked back six block assists to earn her spot on the All-Tournament Team.
The Bearcats utilized a stout defense to surprise the No. 1 seeded Great Danes, led by a career-high 32 digs from junior libero Xiomara Ortiz. Binghamton held Albany to a .119 hitting percentage behind 12 total blocks.
Unfazed by the season sweep at the hands of the Great Danes, Binghamton raced out of the gates to take a 6-2 lead on a Dettmann dump, seizing the early momentum. Following a block by Vickers and Dettmann, Albany was forced to call timeout. The defending champions did not go away; stringing together four straight points to trim the Binghamton lead to two. However, a pair of kills and solo block by Vickers handed BU a 20-14 advantage. The Great Danes threatened with a late 3-1 run, but a Alex Roland block sealed the opening frame for the Bearcats, 25-17.
In a thrilling second set, Binghamton trailed 18-7 before going on a 15-4 run to even the frame at 22, completing the comeback in extra points, 28-26. Albany took control of the stanza early on, jumping out to a 5-1 lead. A Partaleva kill made it 14-7 before a 4-0 Albany run pushed the margin to the largest of the set.
An Alexa Zbytniewski service ace coupled with a back-to-back kills by Partaleva sparked the BU run. Albany struggled to generate offense as multiple attack errors aided the Bearcats’ comeback. Following a Great Dane timeout, kills by Roland and Partaleva trimmed the lead to four, 22-18. A service ace by Dettmann followed by a pair of Albany errors finally evened the stanza at 22.
Albany regained the lead, but Partaleva’s sixth termination of the set evened the score at 23. The Great Danes fought off a Binghamton set-point, before gaining set-point themselves, 25-24. Sophomore Kristin Hovie came up big with her first kill of the match to fight off set-point and level the frame again, at 25. Albany staved off set-point once more before back-to-back kills by Partaleva and Vickers closed out the second set 28-26, giving Binghamton a two-sets-to-none lead.
The third and final set was similar to the second with Albany taking the upper hand midway through the frame holding a 16-9 advantage. The Bearcats began to chip away at the deficit following a 4-0 run, sparked by kills from Vickers, Partaleva and Dettmann, bringing BU within two, 18-16. After Albany pushed its lead back to four, BU used three straight kills from Roland, Zbytniewski and Partaleva to cut the lead to one, 20-19. Albany attack errors and a Hovie kill allowed Binghamton to even the frame at 24 before back-to-back kills by Partaleva gave the Bearcats their third conference title.
Binghamton earned the conference’s automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Championship, and will learn their matchup during the 2012 NCAA Selection Show on Sunday, November 25 at 4:00 p.m. on ESPNU.