Jungsten, Dolan Earn Double Digit Kills in Twinbill Defeat on Saturday
LOS ANGELES – The UAlbany volleyball team had a tough couple of matches on Saturday, falling to Loyola Marymount (16-25, 21-25, 14-25) and North Texas (12-25, 13-25, 17-25) to finish the Los Angeles Westside Invitational.
"We showed our inexperience today," says coach MJ Engstrom. "We eventually will develop the confidence in each other, and once that happens we will be a very good team."
In the first set, Amy Hunter scored the first two points for UAlbany (0-3) off a kill and service ace for a 2-1 Great Danes lead. Scoring went back and forth early as a Sofia Furlong kill tied it up at four, but LMU (2-0) went on a 5-0 run, including a couple of Amber Mirabello kills. UAlbany tried to come back but had trouble gaining ground. At 20-10 LMU, UAlbany won four of the next six points, including a block solo from Olivia Schonewise, but it fell in game one to the Lions 25-16.
The Great Danes took advantage of a couple of LMU errors early to get a 3-2 lead in set two. After LMU took a 6-4 lead, UAlbany won three straight off a Tatum Jungsten kill, LMU attack error and a combo block by Rebecca Rivera and Amanda Dolan to go up 7-6. The teams exchanged points until at 10-9 UAlbany, the Lions got four straight kills for a 13-10 home team lead. After Coach Engstrom called timeout, the Great Danes rallied for a 4-0 run to take back the lead 14-13. An exchange of points later, LMU won three points in a row to go back up 17-15. After another timeout, the team rallied again for three points in a row, capped by a Dolan kill, for an 18-17 lead. The Lions went back up 20-18, and the Great Danes twice got within one, but a late LMU run gave the game to the home team 25-21.
UAlbany got off to a nice start in the third game, using two Dolan kills to gain an early 3-1 advantage. Following an exchange of points, LMU won five straight to go up 7-4. UAlbany countered with a 4-0 run, started and finished with Jungsten kills, to go back on top 8-7. The two squads went back and forth in the set, eventually going to 14-13. But it was a tough end as LMU won 12 of the final 13 points to win 25-14 and take the match in three sets.
That night, the Great Danes took on North Texas (1-2). The Mean Green got off to an early 5-2 start in the first game. A service error and Jungsten kill brought UAlbany back within one. A 3-0 UNT run was countered with three in a row from UAlbany, capped by another Jungsten kill. The Great Danes stayed close for a while, getting to within two 13-11 after kills from Furlong and Schonewise. But UNT got 12 of the last 13 points to take set one 25-12.
The Purple and Gold looked to rebound in the second set. With UNT up 2-0, UAlbany earned kills in three of the next four points, including a pair from Jungsten, to tie the game at three, taking the lead three points later after a Hunter kill. The teams exchanged points as UAlbany led 8-7, but a 6-1 Mean Green run put UNT up 13-9. A couple of Schonewise kills helped keep the deficit small, but runs of 3-0 and 6-0 gave the set to UNT 25-13.
Jungsten got UAlbany going in the third set, earning three kills in the team’s first four points. Each side exchanged points early until at 8-8, a couple of 3-0 UNT runs put the Mean Green up 14-9. UAlbany got to within four, but five points in a row, including two kills and an ace from Eboni Godfrey put the designators visitors up 20-11. A block and kill from each Dolan and Hunter were not enough as the Great Danes fell in the final set 25-17 and dropped the match 3-0 to UNT.
"There were sparks of brilliance, and we will learn to sustain the intensity on the court," says Engstrom.
Jungsten led the Great Danes with 13 kills on the day. Dolan concluded with 11 kills and five total blocks, while Viktoriia Stroilo earned 24 digs.
At the end of the tournament, Dolan earned a place on the All-Tournament Team, finishing the weekend with 17 kills and six blocks.
Next weekend, UAlbany will compete in the UConn Classic, taking on Pittsburgh on Friday, September 6th at 5 p.m. in Storrs, Connecticut.