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Volleyball Rolls SUNY Rival Albany In Straight Sets

Bearcats (6-16, 4-4 AE) move one game out of playoff spot

October 26, 2013


Volleyball Rolls SUNY Rival Albany In Straight Sets

Junior Alexa Zbytniewski

Box Score

Highlights

Contact: Terrence Lollie (tlollie@binghamton.edu)

VESTAL, N.Y. – The Binghamton volleyball team hit a season-best .356 en route to an emphatic three-set sweep of visiting Albany, in an important America East matchup Saturday evening at West Gym. The Bearcats (6-16, 4-4 AE) defeated the Great Danes (5-16, 5-3 AE) at home for the first time since 2006, 25-4, 25-20 and 25-20. With its best performance of the season, Binghamton moves one game back of a playoff spot behind Albany and UMBC.

“They were a lot of fun to watch tonight,” head coach Glenn Kiriyama said. “I thought we did a great job of executing on both offense and defense. Our service game did a nice job of keeping Albany off-balanced which helped out our defense. We had a smart blocking game and really denied them from getting anything going. It feels good to get this win and see the girls play so well, but now we have to continue working and get ready for two big matches next weekend.”

A well-balanced attack by Binghamton witnessed four different Bearcats accumulate at least eight terminations on the night, led by junior Kristin Hovie’s 11. Totaling eight kills apiece were senior Grace Vickers, sophomore Megan Burgess and freshman Allison Hovie, all registering a hitting clip over .300. Junior setter Amanda Dettmann had a great night running the offense, tallying her seventh double-double of the season with 32 assists and 10 digs.

Binghamton raced out of the gate going on a 6-0 run to start the match. A kill and solo block by Vickers capped the run, which forced an Albany timeout. The Bearcats continued to press the Great Danes as kill by Kristin Hovie handed Binghamton a 10-2 lead. Up 11-4, the Bearcats embarked on a devastating 14-0 run to close out the first set 25-4. During the huge service run by Dettmann, sophomore Shannon Kirkpatrick collected two blocks and back-to-back kills to end the surge. Binghamton hit .385 with no errors during the frame while holding Albany to a negative attack percentage.

The Bearcats carried the momentum of the first set into the second, jumping out to a 10-5 lead thanks to a pair of Vickers terminations. A 3-0 run by Albany quieted the home crowd briefly, but back-to-back kills by Allison Hovie helped Binghamton stymie any thoughts of a Great Dane surge. Albany continued to fight however, going on its second 3-0 run to pull within one, 15-14. After the two teams traded points three straight kills by Kirkpatrick, Burgess and Kristin Hovie handed the Bearcats a 21-17 advantage. Kristin Hovie pounded home three consecutive terminations to end the frame 25-20. 

The final set witnessed Binghamton again get out to a good start thanks to the Hovie sisters as each recorded kills to give the Bearcats an 8-4 lead early. A Dettmann smash coupled with a service ace pushed Binghamton’s lead to five, 11-6, forcing an Albany timeout. Burgess smoked two straight aces, but the Great Danes countered with a 4-0 run to pull within two, 18-16. Albany stayed within striking distance late in the frame, but a hot Binghamton team closed the set on a 4-0 run, all Bearcat terminations. Two kills from Allison Hovie during the spurt gave Binghamton the 25-20 third-set victory.

Binghamton compiled a season-low six attack errors and it was the first time the Bearcats had less than 13 all season. Binghamton’s previous high attack percentage was .295 which came last Sunday against UMass Lowell.

The Bearcats’ first-set win of 25-4 was the largest margin of victory in a set during the program’s 12-year Division I history. Binghamton defeated Hartford 25-9 on Oct. 5, 2008 when the scoring system decreased to 25 points. During the 30-point set era, Binghamton beat Hartford 30-11 on Oct. 22, 2006.

Senior libero Xiomara Ortiz led the Binghamton backline with a match-high 16 digs. Allison Hovie compiled her fourth double-digit dig match of the season with 13. Junior Alexa Zbytniewski and freshman Bailey Walker each contributed four digs to Binghamton’s total of 53. The Bearcats were also stout on the frontline recording seven total blocks compared to Albany’s three.

Binghamton will continue its pursuit of a playoff spot next weekend with two important conference matches in Baltimore against UMBC (Nov. 1) and on Long Island versus Stony Brook (Nov. 3). Four of the Binghamton’s final six matches are on the road.

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