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Volleyball outlasts Hartford in five sets for key win
Junior middle Alex Roland records a career-high 23 kills
November 11, 2011Tweet
Contact: Terrence Lollie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
VESTAL, N.Y. - In a intensely contested match, the Binghamton volleyball team outlasted the Hartford Hawks, 3-2, in America East action Friday night at West Gym. The Bearcats (13-16, 5-6 AE) remained in the playoff hunt with a crucial victory over the Hawks (12-17, 3-8 AE). BU won, 21-25, 25-23, 21-25, 25-21, 15-9, behind a career-high 23 kills from junior middle Alex Roland. The Bearcats must win Sunday afternoon and have UMBC lose at Providence to advance to the postseason.
“We played hard tonight and it was good to see the team rally,” head coach Glenn Kiriyama said. “Overall, our middles really carried us tonight…Alex (Roland) had a nice game and worked hard for every kill. Now we have to take care of business Sunday and hope for the best.”
After dropping the first set and falling behind 5-0 early in the second, the Bearcats seemed to wake up. A pair of block assists by Roland and freshman Kristin Hovie ignited Binghamton and cut the lead to two, 8-6. Back-to-back kills from freshman hitter Annelot Nieuwenhuis continued to push the momentum in BU’s direction. A dump kill by freshman setter Amanda Dettmann evened the frame at 12. The two teams battled back-and-forth over the next several points before a Hartford error gave Binghamton their first lead of the stanza, 18-17. Hartford would use both time outs down the stretch, but the breaks did not stop the Bearcats as a kill by Roland closed out the frame 25-23.
Continuing the theme of a back-and-forth battle, Hartford won the third set 25-21, pushing BU’s playoff hopes to the brink. The Bearcats did not back down however, falling behind early in the fourth set only to knot the frame at 7. A kill by Nieuwenhuis and a second dump by Dettmmann extend Binghamton’s lead to four, 13-9, forcing a Hartford time out. Following the time out, the Bearcats kept their foot on the gas pedal as kills from Roland, Nieuwenhuis and sophomore middle Grace Vickers pushed the lead to six, 19-13. Hartford attempted a rally, but fell short thanks to a stout BU defense that accumulated 11 blocks on the evening. Binghamton evened the match at two games apiece with a 25-21 fourth-set victory.
In the fifth and final set the two teams traded jabs as the scored was tied five times early on. A perfectly timed block assist by Vickers and Nieuwenhuis gave BU some breathing room at 6-4. Vickers followed up her huge defensive play with a kill to force a Hartford time out before the teams switched sides. Coming out of the brief break, Vickers continued her stellar defensive performance recording two more blocks, handing BU a 11-6 advantage. Hartford’s final comeback attempt was stifled by the Bearcats, as back-to-back kills by Hovie gave Binghamton the 15-9 fifth set victory. BU out hit Hartford .389 to .050 in the final frame.
In addition to her career-high 23 kills, Roland recorded a hitting clip of .353 and tallied six block assists. Vickers (16), Hovie (12) and Nieuwenhuis (10) each registered double-digit kills for the Bearcats, beneficiaries of Dettmann’s play from the setter position. Dettmann handed out a match-high 50 assists, while picking up nine digs and three kills. Dettmann’s 50 assists marks the fifth time this season she has reached the 50-assist plateau.
Binghamton returns to West Gym this Sunday as they host New Hampshire in the season finale at 1 p.m. BU must beat New Hampshire, currently in second place in the conference, and have UMBC lose at Providence to advance to their eighth straight postseason. The Bearcats will honor seniors Julie Chambers and Jen Fiorentino before the match.