Immediate Release: September 11, 2010
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Senior hitter Anna Lejina and junior setter Julie Chambers led the Binghamton volleyball program to a pair of much needed wins Saturday afternoon. The Bearcats (4-6) upended St. John's (10-2) and Hampton (0-10) in the final day of action at the UB Blue and White Classic.
In their first match of the day, BU used a potent offense and stifling defense to snap St. John's nine-match win streak. Lejina carried the offensive load during the third set, compiling seven of her game-high 16 kills in the frame. Chambers quarterbacked the offense to the tune of 36 assists while producing three blocks on the defensive end.
"We played our best match of the year," head coach Glenn Kiriyama said. "The girls were consistent throughout and played at a very high level. We did a good job blocking which really bolsters our entire game."
The Bearcats jumped out to an 8-4 lead on the Red Storm to take control of the first set. A kill by sophomore middle Alex Roland gave BU the 13-11 advantage, but St. John's quickly evened the set at 13. Binghamton regained the lead on three straight errors by the Red Storm, forcing a time out. St. John's was able to tie the set again at 18, but a pair of kills by sophomore transfer Iva Partaleva helped the Bearcats win the set, 25-21.
BU took the final two sets of the match, 25-21 and 25-19 behind a steady defense. In the third and deciding set, the duo of Roland and Chambers rejected a pair of kills by St. John's to help close out the match. The Bearcats forced St. John's into 24 attack errors, outblocking the Red Storm, 10-7. BU held St. John's to just a .137 hitting percentage.
Senior middle Mercedes Montford had nine kills with a hitting percentage of .333. Classmate Sandra DeVito chalked up a game-high 13 digs while Roland chipped in three blocks. Senior captain Michelle McDonough added nine kills and 12 digs.
Binghamton had much of the same success in their second match of the day, defeating Hampton 27-25, 26-24, 25-10. McDonough followed up her steady play in BU's first match with a stellar performance in the second. She finished the three-set match with 21 kills and a .645 hitting percentage.
"It was a struggle at times," head coach Glenn Kiriyama said, "but we did enough to pull out the victory. Michelle helped keep us in the first two sets until the team came together in the third and played well."
The Lady Pirates played BU tough through the first two sets but were unable to close out the Bearcats in either frame. McDonough's presence was a large factor throughout the second set, putting down eight of her 21 kills.
In the third and final set the Bearcats simply overwhelmed Hampton and secured their second victory of the day. A pair of 4-0 runs allowed Binghamton to race out to a 17-8 advantage, never looking back. BU hit at a .400 rate, opposed to Hampton's -.061, during the set.
Anna Lejina finished the match with 12 kills and six digs while Mercedes Montford stuffed the stat sheet with five kills, three aces and two blocks. Julie Chambers had her second straight game of at least 36 assists.
The Bearcats finished the match with a season-best nine aces.
BU hopes to continue their win streak next weekend at the Georgetown Classic in Washington, D.C. The Bearcats face-off against Georgetown Friday, Sept. 17 at 5 p.m.
Note: Anna Lejina and Michelle McDonough were named to the all-tournament team.
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