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Bearcats punch tickets to AEast Finals

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ALBANY, N.Y. - The Binghamton volleyball team (12-14, 9-4 AE) swept New Hampshire (13-14, 8-5 AE) 3-0 in the America East semifinal at University Gym on Friday afternoon. Binghamton advances to the conference championship for the first time since 2012 and for the fourth time in program history. The Bearcats will face Stony Brook in the championship. Stony Brook upset Albany, 3-0, in the semifinal round. 

Binghamton won the first set 25-20, the second 25-19 and the third 25-23.

Both teams went point-for-point in the first set until the Bearcats were able to secure a 21-16 lead over the Wildcats. Binghamton scored on a kill from Gaby Alicea to take a 22-16 lead, but New Hampshire did not back down. The Wildcats scored the next two points to cut the Bearcats  lead to four, but Binghamton was able to secure their final three points on two New Hampshire errors and a kill from Lexi LaGoy ended the set.  

In the second set, Binghamton got out to a 19-13 lead on a service ace from Erin Shultz. The Bearcats were able to capitalize on a few New Hampshire errors and come up with two big kills to take the second set 25-19.

The third set was the most competitive of the match. Both teams battled to a 20-20 tie late in them game. Back-to-back attacking errors from each team tied the score again at 21. Alicea posted two consecutive kills to give Binghamton a 23-21 lead but a Binghamton service error let the Wildcats back in. The Bearcats scored their final two points on a kill from LaGoy and a UNH service error.

America East Player of the Year, Gaby Alicea, led Binghamton with 19 points on 17 kills while AE Setter of the Year Sarah Ngo assisted on 36 points and added 15 digs. Kristella Morina added nine kills for Binghamton while Lexi LaGoy produced eight.

The championship match is set for a 5 p.m. start on Saturday at University Gym on UAlbany's campus. 

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)