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BU Volleyball wins home opener in straight sets

VESTAL, N.Y.  Senior Xiomara Ortiz broke the program record for career digs, leading the Binghamton volleyball team to a straight-set victory over visiting Siena, Tuesday night at West Gym. In the home opener for the Bearcats (2-8), Ortiz corralled a match-high 17 digs, highlighting Binghamtons 25-16, 25-20, 25-16 triumph over the Saints (1-9). The Bearcats are now 6-7 in home openers since elevating to the Division level in 2001.

I thought we played a good all-around game, head coach Glenn Kiriyama said. Our service game really took them out of their rhythm and forced quite a few errors. We had solid contributions from everyone and it was good to see us play with confidence. Our focus now is to keep playing at this level and carry it into the weekend.

Aiding Binghamtons second straight win were freshman Allison Hovie and senior Grace Vickers, who recorded 12 and 10 kills, respectively. Junior setter Amanda Dettmann orchestrated the offense to the tune of 33 assists, adding four digs and three service aces. As a team, Binghamton hit a season-best .247 while limiting Siena to a .130 hitting clip.

Binghamton jumped all over Siena in the first set opening the match on a 7-1 run, igniting the home crowd in the process. Vickers smashed three terminations during the spurt forcing an early Siena timeout. The Bearcats maintained their cushion throughout the set as another kill by Vickers resulted in a second Siena timeout. Binghamton closed the set on a 5-1 run capped by a Hovie ace and Burgess kill, capturing the opening frame 25-16. The Bearcats hit a blistering .345 in the first set.

In the second set, Binghamton again took the early advantage, but a 4-1 run by Siena evened the frame at eight. The Saints took their first and only lead of the match, 11-10, following a Jacqueline Skeen kill. The Bearcats responded with three straight points to regain the lead and never looked back. Siena briefly threatened, pulling within one late in the stanza, but kills by Vickers and freshman Kelly Leach quickly silenced the visitors. Hovie finished off the frame with one of her four kills, 25-20.

Ortiz needed just four digs in the final set to capture the school record. The libero from South Setauket, N.Y. record-breaking dig preceded a Hovie kill and led to a Binghamton 5-2 advantage. The Bearcats continued to roll in the set, motivated by the feat, taking a 14-8 lead and forcing a Siena timeout. A 9-3 run by Binghamton ensued, highlighted by a pair of Dettmann aces, to break the set open 23-11. Burgess completed the straight set sweep with her fifth kill of the match, 25-16.

Ortiz, who now holds the school record with 1,607 digs, broke Jaclyn Straders (2005-08) old mark of 1,605 in her 98th game as a Bearcat. Ortiz needed just 365 sets to reach the milestone, while Strader played in 466 sets during her illustrious career. Ortiz and Strader are two of just seven Bearcats all-time to eclipse the 1,000 dig mark.

Xiomara did a fantastic job for us tonightshe was all over the floor, Kiriyama noted. She had some great ups and really took care of her area of the court. Its a great accomplishment and we are very proud of her.

Binghamton recorded nine service aces during the match and held a 39-21 advantage in kills.

Freshman Bianca Anderson had the best outing of her young career with four kills and two solo blocks, while Leach added five kills and five digs.

Binghamton plays in its final preseason tournament of the year when they travel to Kent State this weekend to compete in the Golden Flashes Classic. The Bearcats open the two-day tournament against the hosts Friday at 7 p.m. then take on Illinois-Chicago and Eastern Illinois on Saturday.

(Courtesy Binghamton Athletics)

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