A Win and a Loss for Danes Volleyball
Gains No. 2 seed heading into America East tournament
The University at Albany women’s volleyball team split the two games they played this weekend, winning against the University of New Hampshire 3 sets to 1, and dropped their second match to UMass Lowell 3 sets to 1. This caps off their regular season as the Danes head into conference play as a number 2 seed, boasting a 9-3 record in the America East.
Friday night’s win against UNH was highlighted by a game high 21 kills from star junior Akuabata Okenwa. Along with teammate Chole Evering, Okenwa also had double digit kills. Other notable performances include freshman setter Anderson Vaughan had 40 assists, and senior Nicole Otero lead with 20 digs.
Prior to Saturday’s game, the team honored Otero, their lone senior who has been the UAlbany’s libero ever since she arrived with the team as a freshman in 2015. Otero has had a spectacular career with the Danes. Her accolades include being a member of the all exclusive 1,500 dig club, repeat America East Defensive Specialist of the Year, and a three time all conference team selection.
The match started off strong for the Danes when they won the first set heavy handedly 25-18. Things began to turn south quickly as the UMass River Hawks won the following set 25-18.
In the end, the Danes fell short of a comeback in the 3rd set losing 22-25. The fourth and final set, UAlbany jumped head 6-0 only to see their lead diminish as UMass Lowell tied the game at 11-11. The set went back and forth for the rest of play, with the River Hawks ending up on top 25-23 as the final ball hit the floor between 2 diving Great Danes.
Vaughan once again lead the team with 32 assists, while the Danes had three players lead by Otero that over 10 digs.
While UAlbany didn’t foresee their senior night ending in the way that it did, the team still clinched the 2nd seed with their win against UNH.
The Danes go into the tournament knowing they haven’t played up to their potential as of late. In their last matches they have posted a 3-2 record.
The conference tournament will take place on the Stony Brook campus, and Albany will get a rematch with 3rd seeded UNH in the semifinals on Friday at 7pm. UAlbany has beaten their 1st round opponent every time they have faced off this season.
The team has not brought home the conference title since 2011. It is also coming off a disappointing tournament last year as the team was seeded at number one, only to fall to rival Stony Brook in heartbreaking fashion. The team will look to redeem themselves, and hoist the trophy once again.