Bill Ziskin

UAlbany Volleyball Takes First Place in America East with Four-Set Win at UMBC

UAlbany Sports Information   10-22-2017

Volleyball Score: UAlbany 3, UMBC 1 (25-18, 25-22, 20-25, 25-15)

Location: Baltimore, Md. – RAC Arena

Records: UAlbany (6-13, 6-1 AE), UMBC (13-8, 5-2 AE)

Short Story: The UAlbany volleyball team earned a four-set victory in the rescheduled match at UMBC, taking sole possession of first place in the America East.

Key Stats:

  • UAlbany: Tatiana Tiangco hit .276 with 13 kills and three digs while Akuabata Okenwa nearly had a double-double off 11 kills and eight digs. Averaging over six digs a set, Nicole Otero tallied 25 digs, adding three assists.  Kelly Cameron had a double-double of 40 assists and 11 digs, adding four kills and three blocks.
  • UMBC: Franchesca Reed hit .314 for 13 kills, six blocks and an ace while Carmen Freeman concluded with 10 kills, six digs, two aces and four blocks.
  • UAlbany hit .367 in the deciding set in the fourth game.
  • With the win, UAlbany has a 6-1 America East record, leading UMBC and New Hampshire by a match.

Set Situations:

  • 1st set: An early 6-0 serving run by Nina Holmes, including two big digs by her, set the early tone. Another run of winning seven of eight points led UAlbany to winning 25-18.
  • 2nd set: A back and forth battle that saw both coaches use both timeouts by 18-18. UAlbany won five of the following six points to break ahead, eventually taking the game 25-22.
  • 3rd set: Both sides had multiple early runs, with UMBC having a late 4-0 run to grab the set 25-20.
  • 4th set: At 9-9, UAlbany allowed back-to-back points just once more. Emily Zimmerman served UAlbany through a 4-0 run to led the Great Danes to a 25-15 set win.

Quotes: “UMBC is a tough road trip; we did not play our best today, but we showed a lot of grit and preserved through some dry spells with our offense.  I want to especially came out our defensive corps of Nicole Otero, Gabrielle Hansen and Nina Holmes, who did a great job both on defense and with strategic serve.  Emily Zimmerman was outstanding today coming in off the bench for critical serves when we needed them.  I think we did a good job with adversity, now we have to sustain our focus on a lot less rest.” – UAlbany head coach MJ Engstrom

Recap: The UAlbany volleyball team stands alone in first place in the America East, taking down UMBC in four sets in Baltimore on Sunday afternoon.

UAlbany had strong serving runs to begin the first set, with a 4-0 run from Nina Holmes, and 5-0 streak from Akuabata Okenwa and a 3-0 sprint from Gabrielle Hansen to lead 15-5.  UAlbany added another 4-0 run off the serving of Emily Zimmerman to go up 22-12.  UMBC had a late 5-0 run, but a Chloe Evering kill and a Gabrielle Hansen ace sealed the set for UAlbany 25-18.

Each side kept exchanging runs to trade off the lead in the second set, with UAlbany with eight of nine points, including three Tatiana Tiangco kills, to go up 14-11.  UMBC took the lead at 18-17. Including two blocks.  UAlbany again had a strong response, using a kill and two blocks from Taylor Robinson to lead to a 23-20 advantage.  UAlbany took the set 25-22 to go up 2-0.

Both teams had a big run to begin set three to tie at 5-5.  A kill and block from Franchesca Reed sent the home team on a 3-0 run to put it ahead 8-5, later leading 16-11.  A UMBC service error and Kelly Cameron service ace helped UAlbany pull within three, but UMBC kept the advantage.  UAlbany tried a late comeback attempt off a Hansen ace and two points from Robinson, but UMBC won 25-20 to force a fourth set.

Down 3-0 early, Holmes against got UAlbany going on serving with five consecutive points for a 5-3 Great Danes advantage, then later had another 3-0 run on her serving to make it 16-11.  Following a Marissa Duncan kill, Okenwa notched a kill to send Zimmerman to serve.  Including another Okenwa kill, UAlbany took a 20-13 lead and held the rest of the way.  UAlbany won 25-15 to take the match in four.

UAlbany continues its road schedule next weekend, taking on UMass Lowell on Friday, October 27th at 7 p.m. in Massachusetts.

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