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Volleyball Rallies To Knock Off Syracuse In Five Sets

Bearcats (3-12) defeat the Orange (7-7) for first time Division I history

September 18, 2012

Volleyball Rallies To Knock Off Syracuse In Five Sets

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Contact: Terrence Lollie (

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Binghamton volleyball team rallied from a two-sets-to-none deficit to defeat host Syracuse in five sets, Wednesday evening at the Women’s Building. The Bearcats (3-12) knocked off the Orange (7-7) 26-28, 24-26, 25-22, 25-14 and 15-13 for their first-ever Division I victory over Syracuse. Binghamton used a team record 20 service aces to break another streak, winning its first five-set match of the season after going 0-6 in five-setters to start the year.

“We’re just elated right now… it’s a big win for us,” head coach Glenn Kiriyama said. “Having lost so many five-gamers it was really a breakthrough for this team. We were behind early, so it was really nice to see them bounce back in the fifth set. Our hitters played aggressively and made some key kills for us and really helped in closing out the match. This team continues to fight and it says a lot about the type of players we have.”

The Bearcats had three players register at least 15 kills, led by senior hitter Iva Partaleva’s 19. Junior captain Grace Vickers and sophomore Kristin Hovie had 15 terminations apiece. Hovie had a spectacular serving night connecting on seven service attempts, just one shy of the BU Division I record. Sophomore setter Amanda Dettmann handed out a match-high 48 assists, while junior libero Xiomara Ortiz chipped in with 15 digs. 

Binghamton took control of the first set following a Hovie kill and Vickers block that put the Beacats up 14-6. However, a 7-3 run by the Orange trimmed Binghamton’s lead to five, 20-15. The Bearcats were just two points from taking the first set following a Hovie kill, but the Orange did not go away fighting off several set points. Down 24-18, Syracuse went on an 8-0 serving run to steal the first set 26-24. It seemed as if the Bearcats won the first set on multiple occasions, but the calls did not go in their advantage.

After dropping a tightly contested second set 28-26, the Bearcats began to find their groove.  Binghamton seized control of the third frame early racing out to an 8-3 lead thanks to kills by Partaleva and Hovie. A Vickers service ace allowed BU to extend its lead to eight, 12-4. Several Syracuse errors aided Binghamton in continuing to control the frame. The Orange threatened down the stretch, but the Bearcats were able to hold off Syracuse and win the third set 25-22.

The Bearcats completely dominated the fourth set after a slow start. With the stanza tied at nine, a block assist by Partaleva and Roland aided a 5-0 serving run by the Bearcats. Up 14-9, Binghamton never looked back as a Vickers kill put the Bearcats up 20-13, forcing a Syracuse timeout. Senior Alex Roland sent back another attack attempt by the Orange, this time assisted by Dettmann to hand the Bearcats set point. Following a short rally, a Partaleva kill ended the frame 25-14, sending the match to a fifth set.

Exhausted from the comeback and with the six five-set losses in the back of their minds, the Bearcats fell behind early in the fifth set 6-3. A Partaleva kill brought BU within one, 6-5, but back-to-back Syracuse points gave the Orange an 8-5 lead as the teams switched sides. Down 9-7, the Bearcats dug deep and went on a 4-1 spurt to take an 11-10 advantage. The stanza was tied three more times before Vickers and Partaleva combined for a block that gave Binghamton the all important match point. Similar to the fourth set, Partaleva came through in the clutch and sent home a scorching termination to hand Binghamton a 15-13 fifth-set victory and the win.

Binghamton opens its America East schedule Friday at 7 p.m. when the Bearcats host UMBC at West Gym. The Bearcats are currently on a five-match skid against the Retrievers and haven’t defeated their America East foe since Nov. 7, 2009.

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