The third-seeded UMBC Volleyball team (17-8, 8-4) makes its seventh America East Tournament appearance in nine years when it takes on second-seeded Albany (15-9, 9-3) in New Hampshire, Friday afternoon at 4 p.m.
The Retrievers are led by sophomore libero Kristin Watson (Bowie, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt), who earlier this week was named America East Defensive Specialist of the week for the fifth time this season (fourth time in conference play).
Watson ranked 3rd in the league with 4.86 digs/set as UMBC split it's final two games of the season. She had 13 in a sweep of UMass Lowell on Friday, followed by 21 in a four set loss to Hartford on Saturday.
The walk-on finished the regular season with a league-leading 5.56 digs/set in conference play, nearly a full dig ahead of second place (4.75) and over a dig better than third place (4.55).
Senior outside hitter Zoya Trendafilova is the offensive catalyst for UMBC, leading the team in kills (274), attacks (719) and points (313). Trendafilova is sixth in the conference in hitting percentage (.252), fourth in kills per set (3.11) and points per set (3.56).
The Great Danes and Retrievers split their matches this season, each winning on the road. Albany picked up a four-set win in Baltimore on October 7, while UMBC took a five set thriller in the Empire State on November 6.
Laini Leindecker paces the Great Dane offense with a team-best 280 kills and 2.98 kills per set on 972 total attacks. The senior had 10 kills and 12 digs in the win at UMBC and topped that with 12 kills and 19 digs in the November loss.