Immediate Release: November 7, 2003
Contact: Name David Berman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Binghamton falls to New Hampshire in five games
VESTAL, N.Y.--For the second time in six days, the Bearcats (14-13, 4-7 AE) rallied against one of the top two teams in the conference, but visiting New Hampshire (18-11, 9-2 AE) withstood several charges to edge Binghamton 3-2 on Friday evening at East Gymnasium. The Wildcats won by scores of 30-27, 26-30, 30-24, 31-33, 15-12.
"We hit okay overall, but if we had hit a little better the outcome might have been different," BU head coach Glenn Kiriyama said. "New Hampshire did a good job against our middles."
In the pivotal fifth game, New Hampshire scored five unanswered points to build a 6-2 lead that it never relinquished. Sophomore outside hitter Erin Walker (Fulton, N.Y./G. Ray Bodley) had three of her 14 kills during the run.
The fifth game was made necessary after Binghamton fought through 10 ties and four lead changes to finally win the fourth game on their sixth game point, knotting the match at 2-2. After a New Hampshire attack error spotted the Bearcats a 29-26 lead, the Wildcats rallied for three straight points. The teams then traded five straight points before back-to-back kills by junior outside hitter Michele Heck (Chicago, Ill./Resurrection) and freshman middle hitter Megan Hoag (Brunswick, Ohio/Padua Franciscan) forced the decisive fifth game.
Heck eclipsed the 20-kill mark for the second straight match and fourth time this season, finishing with a match-high 25 kills. Meanwhile, Hoag contributed 14 kills and four blocks while junior middle blocker Anne Crocus (Bethlehem, Pa./Freedom) tied a career-high with 10 blocks. Freshman setter Ashley Meffert (Louisville, Ky./Freedom) had another strong all-around effort, combining 53 assists with 13 digs, six blocks and six kills. She tallied her third straight double-double (assists-digs) and seventh of the season.
Balanced production throughout the lineup helped New Hampshire overcome 20 service errors. Junior middle hitter Natasha Otte (Plymouth, N.H./Plymouth Regional) had a team-high 20 kills, while senior outside hitter Alyson Coler (Monte Sereno, Calif./Los Gatos) produced 12 kills. The Wildcats matched their hosts' effective blocking, as both teams produced 15.0 total blocks. Sophomore middle hitter Karen Harrington (Windham, N.H./Salem) led New Hampshire with seven blocks and Otte added five.
The loss dropped Binghamton three games behind fourth-place Stony Brook with each team set to play just three more matches in the regular season. The top four conference teams advance to the America East Championship at the site of the regular season champion later this month. The Bearcats continue their push at home against Maine with a 5 p.m. match at East Gymnasium on Saturday.
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