UAlbany Volleyball Takes on Stony Brook for Senior Day, UMBC for Final Regular Season Home Match
ALBANY, N.Y. – The UAlbany volleyball team is set to compete in its final two regular season home contests, rematching against Stony Brook for Senior Day on Friday, November 4th at 7 p.m. then taking on UMBC on Sunday, November 6th at 2 p.m.
Each match is free to attend for the public at the University Gym. In addition, the matches will be broadcast live online for free on AmericaEast.tv.
The Great Danes got back to winning ways with a couple of road victories over the weekend, defeating Hartford and UMass Lowell to hold first place in the America East at 8-1 and 14-7 overall. Stony Brook is looking to snap a three-match losing streak, last falling in four to UNH, to enter at 6-17 overall and 2-6 in the league. UMBC, which will play Binghamton on Friday, also fell to UNH to stand at 14-7 overall and 5-3 in the America East.
UAlbany won matches on the road against UMBC in four on October 7th and Stony Brook in five on October 9th. UAlbany leads the overall series vs. Stony Brook 29-12, winning the last four, and against UMBC 27-6, taking the last three.
If UAlbany wins both matches this weekend, the Great Danes will secure at least a share of the America East regular season title.
UALBANY PLAYERS CHASING RECORDS: Two UAlbany players have etched their names to the record book. Amanda Dolan stands with 424 total blocks for 2nd place in program history, serving as the all-time leader in Division I program history. Chris Hofer holds the UAlbany record with 597 blocks from 1984-87.
Mikala McCauley is currently in the UAlbany record book, standing 4th in program history with 3,048 assists. She is 212 away from 3rd. The UAlbany record is 5,049 by Blair Buchanan from 2003-06.
Laini Leindecker, the newest member of the 1,000-dig club with 1,032 in her career, also became a member of the 1,000-kill club on October 30th. She is the fourth player in UAlbany program history to earn over 1,000 kills and digs.
McCauley is also approaching the 1,000 dig mark, standing with 966 in her career. Nina Holmes earned 1,005 digs in two years at Feather River College.
LAST TIME: UALBANY EARNS TWO ROAD WINS: UAlbany got back in the win column with road victories at Hartford (25-23, 25-21, 25-11) and UMass Lowell (25-12, 24-26, 23-25, 25-23, 15-7), completing season sweeps against each opponent.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: Sophomore middle blocker McKyla Brooks leads the America East in hitting percentage at .312, earning a Stony Brook-best 230 kills and 51 blocks. Sophomore hitter Taylor Wilson hits .248 with 197 kills and 40 blocks. Second in the league in total assists with 789, sophomore setter Morgan Kath adds 147 digs.
Junior outside hitter Abbie Mirabella has 264 kills for UMBC, second in the America East, adding 21 service aces and 138 digs. Senior middle blocker Zoya Trendafilova hits .233 with 202 kills and 22 blocks. Sophomore Kristin Watson is the team’s libero, standing second in the America East with 385 digs.
LAST MEETING: The Great Danes rallied from down 2-1 to dominate sets four and five to beat Stony Brook (19-25, 27-25, 18-25, 25-14, 15-7) on October 9th. Akuabata Okenwa hit .265 for 15 kills while Laini Leindecker had a double-double of 13 kills and 12 digs. Taylor Wilson led Stony Brook with 16 kills.
UAlbany came back from falling in the first set to defeat UMBC in four (22-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-22) in Baltimore on October 7th. Three UAlbany players had 10 kills each while Nicole Otero had 25 digs. Emily Panchak hit .324 for 15 kills and two blocks for UMBC.
WELCOME TO THE BLOCK PARTY: UAlbany’s front row currently leads the America East with 2.55 blocks per set, a half-block more than second-place Binghamton. Amanda Dolan, with 1.27 blocks per set, and Taylor Robinson, with 1.08 blocks per set, stand first and second in the league respectively.
ENGSTROM EARNS TOP DI MARK AT UALBANY: At the helm of UAlbany, MJ Engstrom has amassed 152 victories, winning the America East regular season six times and taking the tournament title three times. She was named the America East Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2011. She passed the mark of Kelly Sheffield, who had 142 wins at UAlbany, for most DI wins at the school on September 16, 2016. In her coaching career, Engstrom has taken three different schools, UAlbany, Nicholls State and Villanova, to the NCAA Tournament.