For Immediate Release: November 21, 2008
Contact: Matt Muzza (
Phone: 607-777-2956

BU volleyball moves past UMBC and into AE Championship

Bearcats win in five sets; McDonough tallies 21 kills in the win

Box Score

ALBANY, N.Y. - Sophomore hitter Michelle McDonough posted 21 kills, 11 digs and five blocks to lead Binghamton (16-14, 9-3) to a 3-2 win (25-15, 17-25, 25-18, 14-25, 15-10) over UMBC (18-13, 7-5) in an America East Championship semifinal volleyball match from Albany on Friday evening. Binghamton will advance to the America East Championship game tomorrow against a still undetermined opponent.

In the fifth and final set, Binghamton jumped out to a 9-2 lead on four attack errors by UMBC and a couple kills of their own. UMBC then called a time-out to regroup and ran off a 5-0 run to cut the lead to 9-7. Binghamton then pieced together a 6-3 spurt and closed out the match on a McDonough kill. Senior captain Ashley Allen came up huge in the final set with two kills and two blocks.

The theme of the match seemed to be big runs made by each team to create huge gaps in each of the first four sets, which they split.

"We were tough in the games that we won and they were on when they won," head coach Glenn Kiriyama said. "None of the games were that close until the fifth. The first four were blowouts either way."

The Bearcats held a 12-10 early lead in the first set and then ripped off a 10-2 run to hold a commanding 22-12 advantage. The Retrievers took three of the next four points to begin a comeback but then Binghamton grabbed the next two to close set one with a 25-15 win. McDonough posted eight kills in the set.

UMBC led throughout the second set, but Binghamton kept it close and trailed 17-16 late in the frame. UMBC then got on a hot streak and closed on a 8-1 run to even the match score at 1-1. UMBC hit at an astounding .517 clip in the set (17-2-29).

The third set was knotted at 9-9 early and then Binghamton exploded on a 11-1 run. The spurt was highlighted by senior libero Jaclyn Strader dropping in four service aces. Down 20-10, UMBC did make a run of their own but Binghamton eventually won the set with a 25-18 score and a 2-1 match lead.

Things were looking close in the fourth set and Binghamton had a small 12-9 lead but UMBC went on an unbelievable 12-0 run to push the lead to 20-12 and eventually won the set 25-14 to set up the fifth and final set.

Sophomore hitter Anna Lejina contributed 12 kills for the Bearcats. Allen added 12 kills of her own to go along with six blocks.

Sophomore setter Lindsey Mueller dished out 43 assists and also scooped up 10 digs.

Binghamton will take on the winner of the Albany-Maine semifinal on Saturday at 4 p.m. with the conference title and an automatic NCAA bid on the line.

Notes: This is Binghamton's second trip to the America East Championships, the last being in 2005 when they won the title ... In the previous two meetings this season against UMBC, Binghamton won in four sets ... This is the Bearcat's third overall win at the championships ... On Thursday night Kiriyama was named Coach of the Year at the America East Championship Banquet and Lejina, McDonough and Mueller were all named to the first team.

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