Immediate Release: September 2, 2011
STORRS, CONN. -- Binghamton volleyball head coach Glenn Kiriyama can breath a sigh of relief as his adolescent team finally got in the win column. The Bearcats (1-5) defeated the Howard Bison (0-6) in straight sets at the UConn Toyota Classic, Friday evening. BU won 25-20, 25-16, 25-17, to gain much needed confidence after five consecutive losses to begin the season.
"It's good to get the first win," said Kiriyama. "The girls were really excited and they played a nice all-around game. We're steadily improving in all areas of our game and are playing more efficiently on offense. Grace (Vickers) was very active tonight...She's always working hard and has been a pleasant surprise for us this year. Now we have to be ready to play again tomorrow and bring the same focus."
As expected with a pair of winless teams, the first set was a battle. Both teams took the floor looking to impose their will, but the opening frame went back-and-forth. The two teams played evenly as ten ties and four lead changes unfolded. A block by junior middle Alex Roland tied the set at 11. BU would take back the lead, 16-14, on a service ace by freshman Amanda Dettmann. Howard would come back to tie the set once again, but a kill by senior Julie Chambers coupled with four Bison unforced errors gave Binghamton a 19-16 lead, the largest of the set. The Bearcats put down three kills and denied two Howard attack attempts to take the first set 25-20.
The second set began to resemble the first as the frame was tied several times early on. Binghamton used a pair of 3-0 runs to break a 6-6 tie, taking the 12-7 advantage and forcing a Howard timeout. Several Bison attack errors assisted the Bearcats in capturing the lead. Back-to-back kills by Dettmann and fellow freshman Kristin Hovie extended Binghamton's lead to 14-9. A third 3-0 run led by a Roland kill pushed BU's lead to 18-12. From there three consecutive Bearcat kills would aid BU in winning the second set 25-16.
Binghamton completed the sweep of Howard on the back of a 9-0 run in the midst of the third set. Sophomore middle Grace Vickers powered the BU run with four service aces in her rotation. Following the onslaught, Binghamton held a 13-3 lead which they continued to build on. A kill by Hovie extended BU's lead to 19-11, forcing Howard to call timeout. Binghamton closed out the set 25-17 thanks to a four-kill frame by Roland.
Roland and Partaleva led the BU offensive attack posting eight kills apiece and a hitting percentage of .333 and .318, respectively. Roland also added four total blocks. A two-setter system installed by Kiriyama led to a solid match from Dettmann and Chambers and seemed to ignite the Bearcats. The duo combined for 25 assists and nine digs.
Binghamton had its best hitting match of the young season, accumulating an attack percentage of .207. BU tallied nine service aces, four coming from Vickers. The back row for the Bearcats was stout, recording 49 digs, led by Xiomara Ortiz's 13.
The Bearcats will look to build off their first win tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. against Holy Cross. BU will play its final match of the tournament against host Connecticut at 7:30 p.m.
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