Facing a must-win game for the second time in as many days, the Binghamton volleyball team swept Hartford at the West Gym to stay within striking distance of fourth-place Albany. The Great Danes (7-17, 7-4 America East) stand 1.5 games ahead of the Bearcats (8-18, 6-6 AE) and occupy the final playoff spot.
“I thought we played well both days,” BU coach Glenn Kiriyama said. “It was really good to see everyone contribute. I thought it was good from both an offensive and defensive stand point.”
Binghamton was successful at blocking all game long, challenging every Providence (12-18, 4-8 AE) kill attempt at the net.
“We worked on blocking 85 percent of our practices this week,” junior setter and co-captain Amanda Dettmann said. “It was good to see that translate into the game.”
The Bearcats jumped all over Providence early, opening up a 19-10 lead on the Friars in the first set. Two kills by freshmen Allison Hovie increased BU’s lead to 22-13 before Providence went on a mini 4-1 run to bring the score to within six. Their momentum was halted by a Jordan Wiesler service error allowing the Bearcats to take the set, 25-18.
A tightly contested second set saw the score tied at 11 before back-to-back kills by Binghamton sophomores Shannon Kirkpatrick and Megan Burgess put the Bearcats up by two. The score would again be tied at 18, 19 and 20. A BU kill by Junior Kristin Hovie gave the Bearcats the lead for good in the second set, which they won, 25-22.
The two teams were tied at 12 in the third set. But, after a Burgess kill, the Bearcats went on an 11-6 run, easily defeating Providence in the game and taking the match.
“We knew what we had to do, and we came in and we executed,” Dettmann said. “Now we need to carry it over to next weekend, too”
The Bearcats will travel to UMass Lowell on Friday and to New Hampshire on Sunday for their last two regular season games. They will most likely need to win both and receive some help in order to make the playoffs.
“There is not a lot we can do different,” Kiriyama said. “We are just trying to win our last two, and the rest you can’t really worry about.”