Bearcats squeak their way into A-East finals
11/16/2012 (Updated 11:01:31 PM)ALBANY, N.Y. The Binghamton volleyball team advanced to its fourth America East championship match following its five-set defeat of UMBC, Friday evening at University Gym on the campus of the University at Albany.
The Bearcats (12-17, 8-4 AE) rallied from a two-sets-to-one deficit and overcame a five-point hole with a 9-0 run in the fifth set to upend the Retrievers (15-15, 8-4 AE) 16-25, 25-22, 20-25, 25-20 and 15-9. In Binghamtons second-ever five set match at an America East Championship, the Bearcats set new team records for kills (64), hitting percentage (.237) and assists (55).
Highlighting BUs victory was senior Iva Partaleva, who registered a match-high 21 kills, one shy of the Binghamton tournament record. The Bearcats also received a stellar performance from newly crowned Co-Setter of the Year Amanda Dettmann, who established a new program mark for assists in a conference tournament game with 48. Junior libero Xiomara Ortiz also had record-setting match, picking up 24 digs breaking the old BU tournament number of 23.
UMBC raced out of the gates in the first set jumping out to a 9-1 lead to take control of the opening frame early on. Binghamton responded with a 4-0 run, ignited by a pair of kills from Grace Vickers, to trim the lead to four.
The two teams traded points throughout the middle of set as UMBC maintained its cushion. A Vickers kill brought Binghamton within 17-13, but that would be as close as they would get dropping the opening set 25-16. UMBC hit .312 while Binghamton managed just a .097 clip.
Determined to even the match, Binghamton gained an 8-5 advantage on UMBC to open the second set, forcing a Retrievers timeout. Following the break, the Bearcats went on a 4-0 run sparked by a Kristin Hovie kill to take a 12-5 lead. BU maintained its cushion until UMBC threatened with a 11-4 run to slice the lead one, 23-22. However, Binghamton was able to hold off the Retrievers for the 25-22 second-set victory.
After dropping the third set 25-20, Binghamton needed a victory in the fourth frame to continue its season. A pair of kills by Alex Roland gave the Bearcats an early 7-5 lead, but the Retrievers did not go away fighting back to even the stanza at seven. From there the set was tied eight times before back-to-back kills by Partaleva and Vickers handed Binghamton a 20-18 lead. UMBC pulled within one, but the Bearcats closed the frame on a 5-1 run to take the set 25-20. Binghamton hit a match-best .324 during the set.
In the fifth and deciding frame, a situation Binghamton found themselves in 12 times during the 2012 season, UMBC raced out to a 6-1 advantage. Seemingly in control of the set, UMBC allowed the Bearcats back into the frame following a 5-1 run. The scoring spurt was propelled by three terminations from the arm of Vickers. UMBC regained its composure and took an 8-6 lead at the switch and went up 9-6 before the pivotal run. Following an UMBC service error, freshman Alexandra Warner led the Bearcats on a resounding 8-0 service run to close out the frame 15-9. Vickers put down three kills during the run, while Warner added a service ace as UMBC was unable to handle the freshmans serves.
Binghamton was outhit by UMBC .245 to .237, but held the Retrievers to .179 and .100 hitting clips in the fourth and fifth sets, respectively. The Bearcats picked up 74 digs against the Retrievers and collected four service aces. Vickers and Hovie each registered double-digit kills with 17 and 11, respectively.
The Bearcats will face three-time defending champion and host Albany tomorrow night at 7 p.m.
(Courtesy BU Athletics)
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