Less than one month after falling in straight sets at Albany, the Binghamton volleyball team returned the favor with a sweep of the Great Danes on Friday night at the West Gym.
The Bearcats (6-16, 4-4 America East), who hit a season-best .356 on the night, dominated Albany (5-16, 5-3 AE) in the first set. After jumping out to a 6-0 lead and pushing it to 11-4, Binghamton took 14 straight points to capture the frame, 25-4. The Bearcats haven’t won a set by a greater margin since joining Division I in 2001.
Albany stuck closer in the second and third sets, but Binghamton earned a pair of 25-20 victories to give head coach Glenn Kiriyama his first home win over the Great Danes since 2006.
“I thought we did a great job of executing on both offense and defense,” Kiriyama said, according to BUBearcats.com. “Our service game did a nice job of keeping Albany off-balanced, which helped out our defense. We had a smart blocking game and really denied them from getting anything going. It feels good to get this win and see the girls play so well, but now we have to continue working and get ready for two big matches next weekend.”
Junior hitter Kristin Hovie led the Bearcats with 11 kills, while senior hitter Grace Vickers, sophomore hitter Megan Burgess and freshman hitter Allison Hovie each registered eight. Hovie, who also hit .318, earned America East Rookie of the Week.
Kiriyama has praised Hovie’s consistency since early in the season.
“Alli has been improving throughout the season and has developed into one of our most consistent hitters,” Kiriyama said, according to BUBearcats.com. “She has worked hard to get better every day and has become a key contributor to our success.”
With the win, the Bearcats pulled within one game of the conference tournament’s final berth. Albany and UMBC currently stand at 5-3 in a third-place tie, while New Hampshire and Stony Brook are knotted in first at 6-2.
Binghamton is set to return to action on Friday night at UMBC (14-9, 5-3 AE), a team the Bearcats downed in five sets on Oct. 12 at the West Gym.
First serve against the Retrievers is scheduled for 7 p.m. at RAC Arena.