ALBANY, N.Y.--The UMBC volleyball team put up a valiant effort, but fell to Albany, 25-20, 25-21, 25-20, in the America East Championship Saturday. It is the second time the Retrievers (12-17) have finished second in the conference in seven years in the AEC.
"I'm really proud of our girls on a great year," head coach Ian Blanchard said. "There was just a couple things that Albany did better than us today, but it doesn't diminish what we accomplished this year."
All three sets were close midway through, but the Great Danes were able to pull away in each set. Albany outhit the Retrievers .185 to .102 and had 10 more digs, 91-81.
Senior Sabrina Hoeks (Olympia, Wash./AG West Black Hills) led UMBC with 11 kills and 19 digs, her 15th double-double of the season. Junior Allie Spaay (Kenosha, Wis./Kenosha Tremper) also recorded a double-double with 31 assists and 13 digs.
Sophomore Ali Loynachan (Whitby, Ontario, Canada/Sinclair) was second on the team with nine kills, while freshman Hallie Carter (Huntington Beach, Calif./Edison) hit six kills with no errors, while adding 16 digs. Both Hoeks and Carter were named to the All-Tournament Team.
"None of what we did this year would have been possible without the leadership of our captains (seniors Bianca Sande (Rancho Sante Fe, Calif./Torrey Pines) and Hoeks and junior Spaay)," Blanchard said. "We're really going to miss the two seniors next year, but I'm excited for the future with the foundation they've layed."