Bill Ziskin

UAlbany Volleyball Loses Pair of Matches at CSU Tournament

UAlbany Sports Information   09-17-2017

Volleyball Scores: Colorado 3, UAlbany 0 (17-25, 13-25, 19-25) | Xavier 3, UAlbany 1 (25-21, 15-25, 6-25, 13-25)

Location: Fort Collins, Colo. – Moby Arena

Records: UAlbany (0-12), Colorado (9-1), Xavier (5-8)

Short Story: Despite taking the first set in the late match, UAlbany fell in a pair of matches to Colorado in three and Xavier in four to finish the CSU Tournament.

Key Stats:

  • UAlbany: Akuabata Okenwa combined for 30 kills in the two matches while Gabrielle Hansen, primarily a back row player, combined for eight kills and 13 digs.
  • Colorado: Naghede Abu hit .450 with 11 kills and four blocks, while Justine Spann had a double-double with 11 kills and 11 digs.
  • Xavier: Kristen Massa finished with a double double of 10 kills and 14 digs while Alexis Newsome hit .429 with 10 kills.

Key Situations:

  • UAlbany rallied from down 17-5 in the first set to Colorado with 10 straight points off Larissa Focosi’s serving, including four Okenwa kills. UAlbany trailed 17-15 but did not get closer, falling in the set 25-17.
  • Four consecutive kills for UAlbany brought the Great Danes within two at 19-17 in the third set vs. Colorado. Justine Spann served Colorado to match point, which Colorado won at 25-19.
  • Holding a small lead in the first set vs. Xavier, Okenwa buried the final two kills to lead UAlbany to a 25-21 set one win.

Recap: The UAlbany volleyball team rallied to take the first set in the second match of the day, but fell to Colorado in three and Xavier in four to finish the Colorado State Tournament on Saturday.

Down 17-5 early in the first set, Larissa Focosi got back to serve after a Colorado error.  Including four Akuabata Okenwa kills, UAlbany surged forward with 10 straight points to pull within two at 17-15, later at 19-17.  Colorado got the last six points to win set one 25-17.  After some early exchanges, Colorado won nine of 11 points to go up 12-6 in the second set, later going up 19-10 after a 4-0 run.  An Okenwa kill and CU attack error brought UAlbany within seven, but Colorado took the set 25-13.  Into the third game, kills from Okenwa and Gabrielle Hansen helped UAlbany go back and forth with its opponent, trailing 9-8.  Colorado used a run of three to lead 16-11, later going up 19-13.  UAlbany notched four kills in a row to pull within two at 19-17.  Spann had a kill and two aces to start a 5-0 run, effectively sealing the game.  CU won set three 25-19 to take the match in three.

At 8-8 in the first set vs. Xavier, Okenwa had two kills and a block in a row to start a 4-0 run and give UAlbany a 12-8 advantage.  A 6-0 run for Xavier led it to a 16-15 lead.  UAlbany countered and grabbed nine of the next 12 points to go up 24-20.  Okenwa had one more kill to take a 25-21 set win.  Despite plenty more kills from Okenwa, UAlbany was hurt by early runs from Xavier and fell in the following three sets: UAlbany one four of five points, including a dump kill and block by Kelly Cameron, to pull within five at 17-12, but Xavier took the set 25-15.  After a number of streaks led Xavier to win set three 25-6, UAlbany kept close early in the fourth set with kills from Okenwa and Larissa Focosi at 7-5 Xavier.  Trailing by three at 13-10, UAlbany fell in 12 of the next 15 points to fall in set four 25-13.

UAlbany returns home to start conference play on Friday, September 22nd, hosting Binghamton at the University Gym at 7 p.m.

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