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Volleyball Set to Play Binghamton in America East Semis on Friday
Head Coach Ian Blanchard
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The UMBC volleyball team finished the regular season in third place following a win over Stony Brook on the last weekend of the season and will take on the second-seeded Binghamton Bearcats this Friday, Nov. 16 at 4 p.m. at the America East Championship semifinals in Albany, N.Y. The tournament host and regular season champion Albany Great Danes will face the fourth-seeded New Hampshire Wildcats at approximately 7 p.m.
This is UMBC’s fifth-consecutive trip to the conference tournament after falling in the semifinal a year ago to the eventual champion Great Danes. Previously, the Retrievers reached the finals in 2010, defeating the Bearcats in the semis, but falling to Albany, and bowed out in the round of four each of the other three trips. The Great Danes have ended UMBC’s season each of the past three years with the Retrievers’ run ending with a loss to Binghamton in 2008.
This season, after starting out 0-2 in conference play, UMBC (15-14, 8-4 America East) won eight of its last ten matches, including a three-match win streak to close out the year to vault to third in the conference standings. The Retrievers closed out the regular season by clinching a spot in the America East Championships by defeating Stony Brook on the road in four sets. Sophomore Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales) led a trio of Retrievers in double-digits with 16 kills against the Seawolves while junior Ali Goc (Oshawa, Ontario/R.S. McLaughlin) scooped up a match-best 17 digs.
UMBC and Binghamton (11-17, 8-4 AE) split two meetings this year, with each team winning on its home court. The Bearcats swept the opener in Vestal, N.Y. on Sept. 21 behind 16 kills from Kristin Hovie while the Retrievers returned the favor with a four-set win at the RAC Arena on Oct 19. Schmidt also led UMBC that day with a career-high 19 kills as senior Katie Kelly (Diamond Bar, Calif./Diamond Bar) also notched a career-high with 14 winners.
The winner of the Binghamton-UMBC match will take on the winner of the tournament’s other semifinal contest between No. 1-seed Albany and No. 4-seed New Hampshire. All America East Championship contests will be played at Albany’s University Gymnasium, including the championship match which will be played on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.