ALBANY, N.Y. -- Despite 19 kills from sophomore Sara Pope, UAlbany fell to crosstown-rival Siena, 3-1, in non-conference volleyball action on Thursday evening at the ARC. The Saints claimed the victory over the Great Danes - their first win in the series in 10 years - with set scores of 20-25, 25-19, 25-17 and 25-16.
UAlbany rallied back from an early deficit to win the first set, hitting .395 behind nine kills from Pope, who hit .600 in the set. Siena took an early advantage again in set two, but the Great Danes attempted to rally back once again. The Saints got seven kills from Taylor Akana in the set, and hit .341, while holding UAlbany to .025 hitting as a team.
The Great Danes took a big hit to start the third set, as senior Traci Vandegrift went down with an ankle injury. Siena sailed through the remainder of the set, led by Akana and Colleen Ahearn with four kills apiece. Ahearn hit .375 in the set, while the Great Danes struggled, hitting .087. Dunja Prgomet, who has also been fighting injury issues, came off the bench to record a team-high five kills and seven digs.
UAlbany went into the fourth set looking to post a comeback and keep the match alive. Siena was on a roll, however, and Ahearn and Jacqueline Skeen combined for eight kills to lead the Saints. Skeen, who hit .800 in the set, also added two digs and two blocks to pace Siena.
Gabby Whitworth, who has taken over setting duties for the Great Danes, totaled 40 assists and seven digs, while Viktoriia Stroilo recorded a match-high 31 digs.Prgomet finished with seven kills, while Tatum Jungsten added six kills.
Siena (9-8) had four players with double-digit kills, led by Akana with 20. She also totaled 14 digs to complete a double-double. Ahearn finished with 12 kills, while Skeen and Rachel Stoklosa recorded 10 kills apiece. Setter Sarah Sivertson totaled 53 assists, while libero Lesli Akeo finished with 28 digs.
UAlbany (4-11) will return to action over the weekend, visiting America East Conference foe Stony Brook at 2 p.m. on Sunday.