Releases

For Immediate Release: September 29, 2006
Contact: Anthony G. Naglieri (sports@binghamton.edu)
Phone: 607-777-2956

Volleyball begins America East title defense in emphatic fashion
Bearcats sweep preseason favorite SUNY Albany in home and conference opener

Box Score

VESTAL, N.Y. - After five weekends and 17 matches on the road, Binghamton volleyball opened up both its home and conference slate in emphatic fashion, sweeping preseason favorite Albany 30-24, 30-28, 30-24 Friday evening at the West Gym. The victory extends BU's current home winning streak to a Division-I best eight games and marks the squad's third straight overall triumph.

"This was really a huge win for us," said head coach Glenn Kiriyama. "I think this victory is as big as any we had all of last season. This is a tremendous way to start off conference play. That being said, from here on out every match is going to be a real fight."

Binghamton (6-12, 1-0 AE) caught the visiting Great Danes (7-8, 0-1 AE) off guard in game one, breaking open an early 8-8 deadlock with an impressive 10-4 surge and never rescinding the lead as they cruised to a comfortable 30-24 victory. The Bearcats hit for an impressive .333 in the opening frame, pounding out kills on 17 of 30 total swings.

In a back and forth second game that featured a match-high 13 ties and eight lead changes, Katherine Courage delivered a pivotal kill with the game even at 28-28 to put the Bearcats ahead. Schauer followed up with a finish of her own to give BU a commanding 2-0 advantage.

The visitors looked to be mounting a comeback in game three, as they took advantage of six Bearcat errors to stake a 21-18 advantage. BU would respond, however, as they ran off six straight points en route to a 30-24 victory and a clean sweep of their SUNY counterparts.

On the evening, the Bearcat women outhit the reigning regular season champions by a .191-.128 margin and held a 53-39 advantage in kills.

For Binghamton, senior Katie Robertson (Ancaster, Ontario) recorded 14 kills while committing just three errors for a match-high .393 attack percentage. Roberston's contribution also extended to the defensive end, as the outside hitter shared match-high honors with 13 digs for her fourth double-double of the season.

"Katie did an excellent job for us on the outside tonight," said Kiriyama. "Her aggressiveness helped us register a number of kills off Albany blocks. She really stepped it up for us."

Junior Kathleen Schauer (Littleton, Colo.) registered double-digit kills for the fifth consecutive match with a match-high 15 finishes at a .314 clip. Senior setter Ashley Meffert added a match-high 41 assists while the sophomore defensive tandem of Jaclyn Strader (Kettering, Ohio) and Katherine Courage (Virginia Beach, Va.) delivered stellar performances along BU's backline, with 13 and 9 digs respectively.

Senior Shelby Goldman paced the Albany attack with a team-high 11 kills. Two-time America East Player of the Year senior Blair Buchanan added a double-double of the dig-assist variety, kicking in a team-high 10 digs and 33 helpers.

Next up for Binghamton is a 7 p.m. match on Tuesday at Syracuse University.

Notes: Needing just eight digs entering tonight's contest, Megan Hoag (Brunswick, Ohio) surpassed that goal, becoming the 11th Bearcat to reach the 1,000-dig mark for her career...Binghamton has now won its last 12 games...Jacki Kane's (Centennial, Colo.) five blocks tie her with Andrea Piccininni for the ninth highest mark in Binghamton history (347).

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