Immediate Release: September 10, 2011
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- Head coach Glenn Kiriyama's young team is growing up fast. After an 0-5 start, the Binghamton volleyball team has climbed back to .500 following their performance at the Rutgers Invitational. BU (6-6) won all three of their matches to finish in first place defeating Princeton (4-3) and Howard (1-10), Saturday afternoon at the College Ave Gym. Binghamton has won six of their last seven matches to improve its record to 6-6.
"We're playing better offensively and that's good to see," head coach Glenn Kiriyama said. "This weekend will hopefully propel us in the right direction. The girls are working hard and know they still have things to improve on. It feels good to get these three wins and get back to .500. I thought the entire team played well and showed what they are capable of this weekend."
Playing in the morning match for the second straight week, the Bearcats were wide awake for their game against Princeton. BU took the early upper hand thanks to an Iva Partaleva kill, making the score 6-4. As the two teams battled, Binghamton clung on to a four-point margin when freshman setter Amanda Dettmann set up classmate Kristin Hovie for the kill, extending the lead to 13-9. A .357 hitting percentage, BU's highest of the match, allowed the Bearcats to stay on top of the Tigers. Four kills by junior middle Alex Roland highlighted the frame, as she finished off the set with a termination, 25-21.
Binghamton had to come from behind in the second set, to take a two-games-to-none advantage. Princeton jumped out to a 5-2 lead, but BU fought back to even the match at eight. The Bearcats fell behind again, 15-14, on an attack error by sophomore middle Grace Vickers. BU would regain the lead however, on a Roland kill, 20-19. A pair of kills by Partaleva helped Binghamton close out the set 25-22.
BU trailed the entire third set, dropping the frame to Princeton 25-21. Up two games to one, Binghamton opened the fourth set focused on closing out the Tigers. The hot arm of Alex Roland struck once again when one of her kills put Binghamton 10-5. Princeton did not go away however, as they crawled back to knot the match up at 12. The two teams played evenly over the next few points, as BU was receiving production from everyone on the court. Senior defensive specialist Julie Chambers knocked down a pair of kills to help the Bearcats maintain a 20-17 margin. Binghamton would go on to score five of the last eight points, taking the set 25-20.
Amanda Dettmann led the Bearcats to another solid hitting performance. BU hit at a clip of .254 with Partaleva and Roland both hitting over .300, the second time in as many games for Roland. Dettmann amassed a match-high 54 assists and chipped in 19 digs for her third career double-double.
Alex Roland and Iva Partaleva each accumulated a team-high 17 kills. Hovie and Vickers both reached double-digit kills totaling 16 and ten, respectively. Binghamton has had four players reach double-digit kills in the same match three times this season. Hovie also picked up 11 digs for her second straight double-double.
In Binghamton's final match of the tournament BU faced off against Howard for the second time in eight days. In Binghamton's first five-set match of the season, the Bearcats held on for their sixth victory of the season and fourth straight.
The Bearcats quickly wrapped up the first set after going on a early 7-0 run capped off by a Iva Partaleva kill, to take a 9-2 lead. Binghamton maintained its lead throughout the set thanks to a .355 hitting percentage and six Partaleva kills. BU took a one set to none lead, winning the first set 25-14.
Howard dominated the second set as ten attack errors doomed the Bearcats. The Bison jumped out a 11-3 lead and never looked back holding BU to a negative hitting percentage. Binghamton responded in the third frame, taking a two sets to one advantage.
A rare kill from Amanda Dettmann, who had six in the match, gave BU a 7-3 lead. Binghamton added to its lead after a pair of Partaleva aces increased the margin to six, 19-13. A Partaleva kill, one of a match-high 22, finished off the set for BU 25-18.
Binghamton lost the fourth set 25-22, but showed their determination in the fifth frame. Down 7-5 midway through the set Binghamton went on a 6-3 run forcing a Howard timeout. Up 11-10 a Xiomara Ortiz ace pushed the lead to two. Howard made it interesting down the stretch, but two Grace Vicker's kill closed out the set 15-13.
Dettmann tallied 39-plus assists for the fourth straight match, handing out 41 helpers. Iva Partaleva recorded BU's first 20-kill match of the season, receiving perfectly placed passes from Dettmann all game. Partaleva also contributed six aces, four digs and a block assist.
Iva Partaleva was named tournament MVP with Alex Roland and Amanda Dettmann joining her on the all-tournament team.
"I thought all three girls were very deserving," Kiriyama stated. "Alex (Roland) hit the ball very well and Iva (Partaleva) really carried us in the last match. And as she's done all season, Amanda (Dettmann) does a great job executing our offense."
Binghamton returns to action next weekend as they head to New York City to play in the four-match Columbia Tournament. BU faces off against host Columbia on Friday, Sept. 16 at noon. The Bearcats take on Big East member St. John's a few hours later at 5 p.m. On Saturday, Sept. 10 BU will be in action twice, first at 10 a.m. versus Iowa and then at 5 p.m. against St. Francis (N.Y.).
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