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Albany will be the No. 1 seed for the fifth-straight year, while UMBC, New Hampshire and Binghamton also qualified for the field.
Courtesy: America East Communications

2012 America East Volleyball Championship Field Set

Release: 11/11/2012
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-- The top-seeded University at Albany Great Danes will host the 2012 America East Volleyball Championship for the fifth-straight year-- and eighth time in the last nine years --  while Binghamton University, UMBC and University of New Hampshire will join them in the single-elimination tournament on Nov. 16 and 17.

The winner of the tournament will earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Volleyball Championship.

Albany (13-14, 10-2 AE) earned the top seed with a sweep of Providence on Friday evening, capturing their fifth-straight America East regular-season title and eighth in the last nine years. The Great Danes have also won the last two America East tournament titles and six of the last eight. Binghamton has won the other two in that stretch.

Albany will be matched up with No. 4 seed New Hampshire (15-13, 7-5 AE) at 7 p.m. on Friday night in the second semifinal. New Hampshire had actually clinched a spot in the championship on Friday with a sweep of Hartford and could not be eliminated in any of the tiebreak scenarios. The Wildcats have qualified for the tournament in back-to-back years and are looking for their first America East crown since winning back to back titles in 2002 and 2003.

The Great Danes swept New Hampshire in the season series winning in four sets and home, and beating the Wildcats in five sets in the final match of the regular-season on Sunday. New Hampshire could have earned the No. 2 seed with a win, but fell to the No. 4 seed with the loss.

Binghamton (11-17, 8-4 AE) and Stony Brook battled it out for the final playoff position in what proved to be a thrilling five-set match. Each of the first four sets had to be decided in extra sets, with Stony Brook winning the first, 26-24. Binghamton responded with 27-25 and 26-24 wins in each of the next two sets. On the bring of elimination, the Seawolves came from behind on the back of five kills from Melissa Rigo to tie the match with a 30-28 fourth-set win. Neither team led by more than three points in the fifth set, and Binghamton held on for a 15-12 victory to clinch its slot in the championship for the eighth time in the last nine years.

The Bearcats are the No. 2 seed in the America East Championship with the win after tying with UMBC in the season standings, as both had 8-4 records in the conference. Binghamton won the tiebreak between the two teams, as although they split the season series, the Bearcats won more sets (4) than UMBC (3) in head-to-head matchups. The Bearcats and Retrievers will play the first semifinal game at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16.

UMBC (15-14, 8-4 AE) clinched a playoff spot with a four-set win over Stony Brook on Friday. The Retrievers were idle on Sunday, just awaiting the results of the other matches to find out their seed. UMBC will be the No. 3 seed in the America East Championship.UMBC has now qualified for three-straight America East Championships and four of the last five.

The Bearcats and Retrievers split the season series, with each team winning at home. Binghamton swept UMBC in the first match, with the Retrievers winning in four sets in the second meeting.

The winners of the two semifinal matches will compete in the final on Sat., Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. Albany is the defending champion and winner of six of the last eight championships. New Hampshire has won three America East titles, with Binghamton winning two and UMBC is chasing its first-ever America East tournament crown.

The title game will be streamed for free at AmericaEast.com.

2012 America East Volleyball Championship
All matches on the University at Albany campus, Albany, N.Y.

Friday, Nov. 16 - Semifinals

#4 New Hampshire at #1 Albany, time 7:00 p.m.
#3 UMBC vs. #2 Binghamton, time 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 17 - Final

Semifinal Winners, 7:00 p.m.

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