Bill Ziskin

UAlbany Volleyball Edged by Villanova in Three Sets

UAlbany Sports Information   09-09-2017

Volleyball Score: Villanova 3, UAlbany 0 (16-25, 23-25, 23-25)

Location: Villanova, Pa. – Jake Nevin Field House

Records: UAlbany (0-9), Villanova (5-2)

Short Story: UAlbany challenged the tournament host in the final two sets, but fell to Villanova in three sets, the final two games by a combined four points.

Key Stats:

  • Akuabata Okenwa led UAlbany for the third straight match in kills with 14. She was later named to the All-Tournament Team with 41 kills, averaging over 4.5 per set.
  • Larissa Focosi, in her first year with UAlbany, picked up a season-high 21 assists.

Key Situations:

  • UAlbany had an early four-point lead in the second set, losing the lead on an 8-0 Villanova run. UAlbany fought back to tie at 20-20 and exchanged points, but fell in the final two points to be edged 25-23.
  • UAlbany defended match point four times in set three to get within one, but came up short after a Mallory Potts kill gave the set to Villanova 25-23.

Recap: The UAlbany volleyball team pushed the tournament host to the brink in the last two sets, but fell to Villanova in three to finish day two of the Villanova Classic.

Akuabata Okenwa had a team-high 14 kills, adding eight digs and three blocks, earning a place on the All-Tournament Team.  Chloe Evering had seven kills and two digs while Courtney O’Connell had a team-best six blocks, adding two kills.

For Villanova, Mallory Potts had 11 kills while Allie Loitz nearly had a double double on 10 kills and nine digs.

UAlbany tried to rally from an early deficit in the first set, with two runs of at least four points giving Villanova a 15-5 lead.  Kills from Okenwa helped UAlbany get to within seven, but Villanova took set one 25-16.  UAlbany began set one with a 6-2 advantage, but an 8-0 Villanova run sent the Wildcats ahead 13-8.  Serving from Nina Holmes and Nicole Otero pulled UAlbany to a tie at 20-20.  Following multiple exchanges, Villanova got the last two points to win set two 25-23.  Villanova set the early tempo in set three, leading 14-7.  Down 24-19 late, kills from Okenwa and Evering, following by two blocks from O’Connell, helped defend match point four times, but Villanova got the next point to win 25-23 and take the match in three.

UAlbany plays its final in-season tournament of the year next weekend, heading to the Centennial State to take on Colorado State on Friday, September 15th at 9 p.m. ET (7 p.m. MT).

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