UAlbany Volleyball Falls to Binghamton in America East Conference Championship

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Iva Partaleva finished with 19 kills and 13 digs to lead Binghamton to a 3-0 sweep of UAlbany at the 2012 America East Conference Championship at University Gymnasium on Saturday evening. The second-seeded Bearcats defeated the regular-season champions with set scores of 25-17, 28-26, and 26-24.

Binghamton came out firing in the first set, getting four kills apiece from Partaleva and Grace Vickers. UAlbany's Sara Pope also had four kills, but the Bearcats came up with six total blocks, holding the Great Danes to a zero hitting percentage in the set. Viktoriia Stroilo came up with six digs, but it wasn't enough to keep UAlbany in the set.

UAlbany held a convincing lead throughout most of the second set, before Binghamton roared back behind the strength of nine kills from Partaleva. Tatum Jungsten finished with four kills on .429 hitting for the Great Danes, while Prgomet added four kills and four digs. However, the Bearcats continued their strong blocking, holding a 4-1 advantage in that category in the set.

The third set also took extra points, as the Great Danes would not go down without a fight. Pope recorded a set-high seven kills, hitting .357 in the set, while Stroilo came up with 13 digs. However, Partaleva smacked six kills, and the Bearcats got another four from Alex Roland, putting Binghamton back on top for the final point.

Seniors Gabby Whitworth and Traci Vandegrift were each named to the All-Tournament Team for their efforts. Whitworth finished with 33 assists, eight digs, and one service ace, while Vandegrift totaled six kills, nine digs, and four block assists. Stroilo recorded 25 digs in the match.

Vickers was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, recording 10 kills and a match-high seven block assists to lead Binghamton (13-17). Roland also added 10 kills, while setter Amanda Dettman finished with 37 assists, nine digs, and three kills. The Bearcats out-blocked UAlbany, 12-5, in the match.

UAlbany finishes out the season with a 14-15 overall record. The Great Danes will graduate Vandegrift, Whitworth, and Prgomet in the spring.