Great Danes Head to the UCF Challenge
ALBANY, N.Y.- The University at Albany volleyball team is set to continue tournament play this week, heading to the UCF Challenge. The tournament will start Friday, September 6 and go until Sunday, September 8. The Great Danes are slated to face Kansas, UCF and South Carolina.
Friday, September 6 vs. Kansas (5:00 p.m.)
Saturday, September 7 at UCF (7:00 p.m.)
Sunday, September 8 vs. South Carolina (1:00 p.m.)
Leading the Pack
- Redshirt senior Akuabata Okenwa tallied double digit kills in all three matches at the Omaha Challenge.
- Freshman Malea Stanton notched 131 assists at the Omaha Challenge averaging 10.08 per set.
- Anna Chalupa leads the team in digs with 56.
The Jayhawks are coming off of a three set win against Omaha on Tuesday. The team finished with a 15-12 record (8-8 BIG 12) in 2018. Kansas did not make the conference tournament, and lost in five sets to Oklahoma in their last match of the regular season.
The Knights enter the tournament with a 2-1 record. The team is coming off a five set win against Ole Miss on Sunday to close out the Rebel Invitational. Kristina Fisher leads UCF with 45 kills, and Erin Olson has 62 assists.
Scouting South Carolina
The Gamecocks enter the tournament with a 1-2 record. The team is coming off a three set loss against #12 Pittsburgh in the finale of the Panther Challenge. Senior Mikayla Shields leads South Carolina with 39 kills. Senior Courtney Koehler has seen most of the action so far as setter, tallying 123 assists.
Okenwa, Stanton Earn Weekly Honors (9/3)
Okenwa and Stanton each earned weekly conference honors after having stellar performances at the Omaha Challenge. Okenwa was named Co-Player of the Week, while Stanton earned Rookie of the Week honors.
Can you dig it?
Chalupa is second in the America East in digs notching 56 in 13 sets. The sophomore tallied double digit digs in all the matches at the Omaha Challenge.
Five Great Danes who received America East All-Conference honors lasts season return in 2019. Chloe Evering, Okenwa, and Danielle Tedesco were named to the Second Team, and Vaughan and Cozad earned All-Rookie Team accolades. On top of being named to the All-Rookie Team, Vaughan earned America East Rookie of the Year honors.
In the America East preseason poll, the Great Danes were selected to finish second with 19 points and one first place vote. Ahead of UAlbany was two-time defending conference champion Stony Brook, who received 25 points and five first place votes. Rounding out the rest of the poll was Hartford in third with 15 points, New Hampshire in fourth with 14 points, UMBC in fifth with 12 points and Binghamton in sixth with five points.
In 2018, the Great Danes finished with a total of 210 blocks which ranked second in the America East. Senior Courtney O’Connell led the way finishing with 86, averaging .97 per set.
The Great Danes will head to the Towson Invitational on Friday, September 13 through Saturday, September 14.