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
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
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
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
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.