Bill Ziskin

UAlbany Volleyball Falls in Four-Set Battle vs. Syracuse in NIVC First Round

UAlbany Sports Information   11-30-2017

Volleyball Score: Syracuse 3, UAlbany 1 (25-21, 22-25, 20-25, 21-25)

Location: Hamilton, N.Y. – Cotterell Court

Records: UAlbany (11-15), Syracuse (21-13)

Short Story: The UAlbany volleyball team took set one and challenged its ACC foe the rest of the way, but fell to Syracuse in four in the first round of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship.

Key Stats:

  • UAlbany: Danielle Tedesco hit .320 with 10 kills and five blocks, while Tatiana Tiangco hit .211 for 10 kills. Akuabata Okenwa led all Great Danes with 11 kills, adding eight digs and two aces while Nicole Otero finished with 20 digs.
  • Syracuse: Three Orange had double-doubles, led by Ella Saada with 11 kills and 24 digs. Setter Jalissa Trotter concluded with 41 assists and 17 digs.
  • Seven different Great Danes had kills, including four with double digits.

Key Situations:

  • Set one: After losing a six-point lead, UAlbany used late runs of 4-0 and 3-0 to push past Syracuse 25-21, finishing the set on the fifth kill by Danielle Tedesco.
  • Set two: UAlbany got to within two late, but 20 Syracuse kills led the Orange to win 25-22.
  • Set three: UAlbany’s comeback attempt saw the Great Danes win nine of 10, but Syracuse kept its lead and won 25-20.
  • Set four: With Larissa Focosi setting, UAlbany rallied from down six to pull within one at 21-20, falling short in a 25-21 defeat.

Quote: “I’m happy the NIVC came back, and we felt fortunate to be chosen to play, it gave us a chance to compete again and improve.  And we did improve, our younger kids got better down the last week of practice.  We wish Syracuse all the best.” – UAlbany head coach MJ Engstrom

Recap: The UAlbany volleyball team took set one against an ACC opponent and nearly rallied to grab two more sets, but fell to Syracuse in four sets in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship in four sets at Colgate University.

Including two Danielle Tedesco kills, UAlbany used a 4-0 run to get off to a 5-1 start in set one.  Syracuse got to within two, then kills from Tedesco and Chloe Evering led to UAlbany rebuilding the advantage to 14-8.  Syracuse won seven straight points to go ahead 15-14.  UAlbany responded with its own 4-0 run to go back ahead, including three kills from different Great Danes.  Later, UAlbany had another streak of three straight, taking the set on a Tedesco kill to win 25-21.

Two Jalissa Trotter kills gave Syracuse an early 6-4 advantage in set two.  UAlbany took four of the next five, including two kills from Tatiana Tiangco and a Kelly Cameron service ace, to lead 9-8.  The sides exchanged 3-0 runs, with UAlbany blocking two SU attacks, to lead 12-11.  Two kills from Ella Saada helped Syracuse go ahead at 20-16.  UAlbany got back within two at 22-20 with kills from Evering and Akuabata Okenwa, but came up short as Syracuse won 25-22 to even the match at 1-1.

Syracuse used a 5-0 run to take an early 5-1 lead for set three, using another 4-0 sprint to go ahead 9-2.  UAlbany stopped the bleeding with kills from Cameron and Evering, but Syracuse’s lead continued to increase with two Santita Ebangwese aces.  Syracuse eventually led 22-10.  UAlbany put on a comeback attempt, taking nine of the next 10 points, including two kills from Taylor Robinson and a kill and ace by Okenwa, to pull within four at 23-19.  But that is as close as UAlbany came, falling 25-20 to go behind 2-1 in the match.

Into set four, Syracuse took a lead at 5-3 with three straight, which UAlbany evened up at six with a kill and ace by Okenwa.  After some exchanges, Syracuse went ahead with six of the next seven to lead 14-9.  At 18-13, Larissa Focosi notched a dump kill, then Syracuse missed on a swing, pulling UAlbany within three at 18-15.  At 21-16, Focosi served UAlbany to a 4-0 run and got the Great Danes within one at 21-20, with Tiangco pushing a kill through the block to make it 22-21 later.  But Syracuse took the final three points and won 25-21 to take the match in four.

UAlbany’s year comes to a close in its first postseason since 2011, winning the America East regular season title.

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