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UAlbany Shuts Out Reigning League Champ Binghamton

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UAlbany Shuts Out Reigning League Champ Binghamton

Box Score

ALBANY, N.Y. – Starting America East play, UAlbany swept the reigning league champion Binghamton in three sets (25-22, 25-14, 25-18) at the University Gym home opener on Sunday.

“We have said all season long that this young team just needed to build its confidence,” says coach MJ Engstrom. “Hopefully, this will be the ignition they need.”

Capped by a couple of Shannon Kirkpatrick kills, Binghamton (2-12, 0-1 AE) took an early 6-2 lead in the first set.  UAlbany (1-12, 1-0 AE) pulled to within two at 9-7, but Megan Burgess served Binghamton to a 5-0 run for a 14-7 lead.  Down 15-8, Samantha Brostrom earned a kill, and Viktoriia Stroilo served UAlbany through a 6-0 run to pull the Great Danes back in the set down one.  At 17-15 Binghamton, a Bearcats service error and Brostrom’s serving paced UAlbany on a 6-0 run to take a 21-17 lead.  Binghamton got two points late to make it 23-21, but Engstrom called timeout.  Amanda Dolan earned a kill to make it set point, and after a Kristin Hovie kill, an Allison Hovie service error gave the set to UAlbany 25-22.

“Despite a tentative start, our team started to believe they could win when Vik Stroilo went back in the first set and served five points,” says Engstrom. “Our passing is also much better with Stroilo returning to libero.”

UAlbany’s momentum continued into the second set as the team earned an Amy Hunter kill, Dolan block, Dolan kill and Brostrom kill to win the opening four points.  The Bearcats got back to within one by taking five of the next seven points.  A 3-0 UAlbany run built the lead back to four at 9-5.  At 11-8, a Mikala McCauley dump kill sparked a 5-0 run to push UAlbany’s lead to 16-8.  To cap it, a late 3-0 run on Rebecca Rivera’s serving to make it 22-12 UAlbany.  The Great Danes won the set 25-14 to go up 2-0.

Set three started the same way as the previous game: UAlbany won the first four points.  After the Bearcats won the next two, a Binghamton service error, Dolan kill and McCauley kill pushed the Great Danes up 7-2.  At 11-7 UAlbany, Hunter and Dolan kills plus a Binghamton attack error made it 14-7 home team.  Binghamton made a late run to pull within five at 17-12, but UAlbany countered with its own 3-0 run off Stroilo’s serving to lead 20-12.  Ending on a Sofia Furlong and Dolan combo block, UAlbany took the set 25-18 to sweep the Bearcats and open America East play with its first win of the season.

“McCauley did well in only her third start as a setter, and the middies, Dolan and Jungsten, did a great job scoring when we needed points,” says Engstrom.

The two middies, Dolan and Jungsten, tied for the team-lead in kills with eight, with the latter hitting .500.  Brostrom earned six kills, 11 digs and two solo blocks.

For the Bearcats, Allison Hovie finished with 13 kills and eight digs.  Grace Vickers got six kill, five digs and two blocks in the match.

UAlbany will play its next two matches on the road, starting with Hartford on Friday, October 4th at 7 p.m.

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