UAlbany Volleyball Set to Host 2017 America East Tournament, Starting Friday
ALBANY, N.Y. – The UAlbany volleyball team is set to host the 2017 America East Tournament as the league’s regular season champion. 1-seed UAlbany takes on 4-seed Stony Brook for the semifinal round on Friday, November 17th at 7 p.m.
The victor of the UAlbany-Stony Brook match will take on the winner of 2-seed Binghamton and 3-seed New Hampshire, played at 4 p.m. on Friday, on Saturday, November 18th for the America East championship. This is the first time since 2012, and eighth time overall, that UAlbany serves as host for the America East Tournament.
All three matches will be broadcast on AmericaEast.tv, available online free of charge.
Tickets for the matches are $8 for adults, $5 for youth and $2 for students from America East institutions.
UAlbany comes into the tournament on a 10-match winning streak, coming off a four-set win at Stony Brook on Friday, to enter at 11-13 overall and 11-1 in the America East. Stony Brook got the 4-seed in the tournament, holding a tiebreak against UMBC, after a four-set defeat vs. Binghamton to stand at 16-12 overall and 6-6 in the league.
UAlbany has won seven matches in a row against Stony Brook, with four-set victories at home on October 15th and on the road on November 10th. All-time, the Great Danes are 31-12 against the Seawolves.
UALBANY EARNS 10TH AE REGULAR SEASON TITLE: With the three-set victory over Hartford on November 5th, UAlbany secured its tenth America East regular season title in program history. It is the first title since 2015 and the first outright title since 2012. UAlbany’s 10 titles have come since 2004, with all other programs combining for five.
UALBANY DUO EARNS AMERICA EAST WEEKLY AWARDS: After leading the UAlbany volleyball team to a road victory over Stony Brook, two Great Danes have been selected for America East weekly honors. Nicole Otero was chosen as the America East Defensive Specialist of the Week while Kelly Cameron was honored as the America East Setter of the Week.
LAST TIME: UALBANY BEATS SBU FOR 10TH STRAIGHT WIN: UAlbany increased its winning streak to 10, finishing America East play with a four-set victory at Stony Brook (25-23, 25-21, 23-25, 25-16) to conclude with an 11-1 conference record.
Akuabata Okenwa hit .406 in the match, finishing with 15 kills, 21 digs and five blocks. Nicole Otero tallied 30 digs, averaging 7.5 per set, plus six assists, while Tatiana Tiangco and Chloe Evering notched 14 and 13 kills respectively.
ENGSTROM EARNS 100TH AMERICA EAST WIN: As UAlbany’s head coach, MJ Engstrom earned her 100th win in America East regular season play with a victory over Stony Brook on November 10, 2017. In total, Engstrom’s UAlbany teams are 100-20 (83.3%) in the America East regular season.
The Great Danes have won at least nine America East matches in 10 out of 11 years and double digit league victories in seven of those years.
LAST TIME IN THE TOURNAMENT: Last season, UAlbany traveled to Durham for the 2016 America East Tournament as the 2-seed, defeating 3-seed UMBC in straight sets before falling to 1-seed UNH in the title match in three, Laini Leindecker and Nicole Otero were each named to the America East All-Tournament Team.
UALBANY HISTORY IN THE AE TOURNAMENT: UAlbany is seeking its first America East Tournament title since 2011. As a program, UAlbany has six America East Tournament titles, including five times in six years from 2006 to 2011.
UAlbany is playing in its 16th consecutive America East Tournament since 2002, appearing in the title game 11 times, including the last three seasons. All-time in the league tournament, UAlbany is 17-9, including 3-2 vs. Binghamton, 2-5 vs. New Hampshire and 5-1 vs. Stony Brook.
SCOUTING THE (POTENTIAL) OPPONENTS: Stony Brook has the top hitting percentage in the league at .218. Redshirt junior outside hitter Emily Costello is the primary offensive player with a team-high 275 kills and 35 aces, adding 313 digs. Junior middle McKyla Brooks hits .312 with 261 kills and a squad-best 83 total blocks.
Binghamton is led by the America East leader in kills: junior outside hitter Gabby Alicea stands with 354 kills and 36 aces. The second option is junior outside Erin Scultz with 270 kills and 195 digs with junior setter Sarah Ngo stands with 978 assists and 26 aces.
New Hampshire, the defending America East champion, is first in the league holding opponents to 12.02 kills a set. Sophomore outside hitter Kennedi Smith leads UNH in kills with 301, adding 26 aces and 239 digs. Junior middle blocker Gabri Olhava hits .296 with 263 kills, 31 service aces and 74 total blocks.