EUGENE, ORE. - The UAlbany Great Danes ended a strong season Friday at the NCAA Regionals where they fell to BYU at the Jane Sanders Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.
The Great Danes recorded back-to-back America East titles over the past two seasons, earning the regular season title for 2018. This NCAA Regional marked the seventh time UAlbany has appeared in the NCAA competition.
Before the start of the America East tournament last weekend, head coach Chris Cannata was named America East Coach of the Year, while Celeste Verdolivo was named America East Pitcher of the Year. The Great Danes recorded 32 wins this season. Among those 32 wins was coach Chris Cannata’s 700th career win.
The America East Conference named Celeste Verdolivo, McKenzie Bump, and Sarah Petzold to the First Team All-Conference, while Chelsea Henige and Katie Falotico were named to the Second Team All-Conference. The America East All-Rookie Team included Amelia Ely, Katie Falotico, and Maranda Jimenez.
Aside from their athletic achievements, the Great Danes earned academic accolades in the America East conference. Celeste Verdolivo, Sarah Petzold, and Devin Durando were named to the All-Academic team for their achievements in the classroom as well as on the field.
In addition to her athletic achievements within the conference, Sarah Petzold was named to the First Team Academic All-District Team, selected by CoSIDA.
“It was a tough loss in the last game but that doesn’t take away anything that this team has accomplished this year,” said head coach Chris Cannata after the final NCAA tournament game against BYU. “I’m really proud of them and the way they battled through the entire season. It is very difficult to repeat as tournament champions to get here and we were able to add a regular season title this year. If I look back to March, we are a totally different team, which shows how far we have come and how much we have grown. This was a very special group to coach and we will miss our seniors.”
The Great Danes graduated two seniors, Devin Durando and Donna Conrad, this season.