A record does not always paint a full picture, and the Binghamton University volleyball team has recently indicated that its disappointing mark does not reflect its potential.
Two days after defeating Syracuse University, the Bearcats (4-12, 1-0 America East) opened conference play with a convincing home win over University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Binghamton has had an affinity for five-set matches, playing in six and losing five. But the Bearcats needed just three to sweep the Retrievers Friday night.
UMBC came closest in the first set, but the Bearcats prevailed 25-22 and took the second and third sets by scores of 25-18 and 25-12, respectively.
“Boy, I tell you, that’s the best I’ve seen them play all year,” BU head coach Glenn Kiriyama said of his team. “They just played a really complete match. I was really impressed, especially with our offense. I thought it was running very well. I thought Amanda [Dettmann] did a nice job of setting it up.”
Dettmann, who was named America East Setter of the Week for her efforts against the Orange and the Retrievers, doled out 41 assists against UMBC. Her production helped Binghamton to a .402 hitting percentage on Friday. Sophomore Kristin Hovie and senior Alex Roland benefited most from Dettmann’s sets, finishing with 16 and 11 kills, respectively.
“[Dettmann is] a really good worker,” Kiriyama said. “[She] wants to get better and continues to improve throughout the year. She’s made steady progress so we’re happy with how far she’s come.”
And just as Dettmann has progressed, her team has also made significant strides lately. The Bearcats narrowly lost to Baylor University and Tulane University at the Kathy Trosclair Memorial Tournament before topping Syracuse and UMBC. So even though the non-conference record of 3-12 indicates a rocky start, Binghamton has gained some momentum as matches become more important.
At the end of the day, Kiriyama knows that his team’s America East record is all that matters. He said he would rather have his team on a roll now than in early September.
“If there’s anytime to do it, this is the time to do it,” he said. “I think the preseason was good preparation. We came very close with a lot of teams so it wasn’t like we [were] getting blown out for those games. I think the team is geared toward conference and they were looking forward to it and especially their first home game.”
Kiriyama took note of the home crowd, saying, “It was big on Friday, it was a big crowd. They were making a lot of noise, so it was good to see, and I’m sure it fired up the team very much.”
Binghamton is scheduled to host Providence College on Friday night in the second game of its America East slate. After falling in their conference opener at University of Hartford, the Friars are just 1-17 in 2012.
The match is set for 7 p.m. at the West Gym.