Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - 2:40:59 AM

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BU Volleyball beats Providence in 4 sets

PROVIDENCE, R.I.  The Binghamton volleyball team hit a season-best .255 en route to a four-set victory over host Providence, Friday evening in an America East matchup at Alumni Hall. The Bearcats (3-12, 1-1 AE) overcame a opening-set loss (27-25) to win the next three (25-21, 25-20, 25-18) and hand Providence (8-10, 1-1 AE) its first defeat in its last four matches.

It was good to see us execute our offense, head coach Glenn Kiriyama said. We were very efficient and Amanda (Dettmann) did a nice job of getting our hitters in good positions. Our serving picked up the last three games and we did a great job passing the ball which helped our offense. I thought we took care of the ball towards the end of the match and that was the difference. Were definitely happy with a road victory against a good Providence team.

The Bearcats were led by senior captain Grace Vickers, who registered a match-high 17 kills on a staggering .640 hitting clip. Vickers tied her career high in kills while compiling a season best hitting percentage. Equally impressive on offense was junior hitter Kristin Hovie as she recorded a season-high 15 kills. Three other Bearcats recorded at least seven kills in the match.

Junior setter Amanda Dettmann operated the offense seamlessly, handing out 48 assists while picking up 12 digs. The double-double was the fourth of the season for the reigning America East Co-Setter of the Year. Senior libero Xiomara Ortiz was big on the backline for Binghamton recording a match-high 20 digs.

Providence led for most of the first set before a 6-2 run by Binghamton tied the frame at 21. A pair of kills by Kristin Hovie sparked the run and pulled the Bearcats even for the first time in the stanza. The Friars countered with back-to-back points, forcing a Binghamton timeout. The Bearcats responded however, and again knotted the game at 23. A kill by Kristin Hovie coupled with a Providence error handed Binghamton set-point, 25-24.

Providence proved too strong offensively scoring the next three points to take the opening set 27-25. Allison Hovie tallied six kills during the set, helping Binghamton out hit Providence .286-.189.
With the second set tied at four, three straight Kristin Hovie service aces gave Binghamton a 9-5 lead. Providence constantly chipped away at the Bearcat lead, but timely Binghamton kills kept the Friars at bay. A pair of terminations from the arm of Vickers maintained Binghamtons lead late in the frame. The Bearcats offensive surge continued as back-to-back kills by Shannon Kirkpatrick and Kelly Leach pushed Binghamtons lead to five, 22-17, forcing a Providence timeout. The Binghamton defense limited the Friars to a .097 hitting clip during the set, allowing the Bearcats to even the match at one with the 25-21 second-set victory. Kristin Hovie and Vickers compiled four terminations each in the stanza.

In the always crucial third set, Providence took the early advantage following a 3-0 run to go up 8-5. Binghamton responded however, with a thunderous 8-0 run capped by a kill and solo block by Megan Burgess. A much improved Providence squad quickly answered with a 5-0 spurt to level the set at 13. The stanza went back-and-forth from there until a Leach kill coupled with a pair of Providence errors gave the Bearcats a three-point cushion. The Friars were unable to climb back into the set as kills by Kristin Hovie and Burgess closed out the frame 25-20. Binghamton hit a match-high .314 during the set.

Finding its rhythm offensively, Binghamton built a substantial lead in the fourth set as three kills by Vickers handed the Bearcats a 9-5 lead. Binghamton continued to add to the margin following another surge by Vickers, increasing the Bearcats advantage to six. A dump by Dettmann coupled with a kill by Leach gave Binghamton its largest lead of the match, 22-13, and a seemingly easy fourth-set victory. However, Providence threatened with a 5-0 run to trim the deficit to five. It wasnt enough as a kill and service ace by Allison Hovie captured the set, 25-18, and the match for the Bearcats.

Binghamton recorded nine blocks in the match while Providence tallied seven. The Friars did a solid job keeping the Bearcats active in the reception game, connecting on nine service aces. The Bearcats tallied just five aces during the match. The difference in the match were the kills however, as Binghamton registered 60 terminations compared to 47 by Providence with the Bearcats total coming in less attempts.

Leach stepped up with her best match of her young collegiate career, finishing with season-highs of 10 digs and eight kills. Allison Hovie and Burgess each recorded seven kills for the Bearcats.

Binghamtons previous high in hitting percentage (.247) came against Siena on Sept. 17, the Bearcats last victory. Binghamton snapped a four-match skid with the win over Providence.
Binghamton remained perfect against Providence improving its all-time record to 8-0 against the Friars.

Binghamton continues its weekend road trip through New England as the Bearcats head to Hartford for a meeting with the Hawks Sunday at 1 p.m. The Bearcats are 19-3 all-time against Hartford.

(Courtesy Binghamton Athletics)

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