CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-- As the top two teams in the league standings squared off in a home-and-home series this past weekend, all eyes were on the rematches of the past two conference championship finals. Albany and Binghamton didn't disappoint, as they split two matches and produced all three weekly award winners. Great Dane senior outside hitter Teresa Coppiellie (Canton, Mich./Salem) received her third Player of the Week award of the year, while Bearcat freshman libero Xiomara Ortiz (South Setauket, N.Y./Ward Melville) and junior setter Julie Chambers (Nichols, N.Y./Tioga) took home the rookie and setter of the week accolades, respectively.
Coppiellie had a superb weekend of two straight double-doubles which included a career day in Albany's 3-2 victory over Binghamton on Sunday to remain in a tie for first atop the league standings. For the week, the senior averaged 5.12 points, 4.62 kills and 5.00 digs per set, while hitting at a .238 clip and recording three solo blocks and two block assists.
In Sunday's thriller, Coppiellie registered 25 kills and 26 digs, added four total blocks, and hit .345. In the first match of the home-and-home with the Bearcats, she notched the first double-double with 12 kills and 14 digs in the three-set match. This is Coppiellie's third honor of the season.
Ortiz helped the Bearcats to a weekend split with Albany, including a 3-0 sweep on Friday night. Ortiz was a force on the back line, finishing the week with a league-best 7.12 digs per set to improve her season average to 4.19 digs per set which ranks second in America East.
The freshman recorded a match-high 27 digs on Friday night with no reception errors in 44 attempts. Her 27 digs marked the most by an America East player in a three-set conference match since October 28, 2005. Ortiz set another match high on Sunday with 30 digs. This is her first rookie of the week award of her career.
Chambers recorded two double-doubles in Binghamton's 1-1 week. She averaged a conference-leading 11.75 assists per set in addition to 2.75 digs per set and three block assists. In Friday night's 3-0 sweep of Albany, the junior tallied a match-high 43 assists and added 10 digs and one block assist.
Chambers followed that up with a 51-assist, 12-dig performance on Sunday afternoon. In Sunday's match, Chambers also added two block assists and one kill. She quarterbacked the Bearcats to a .192 team hitting percentage, good for third among all teams in the conference last week. Chambers previously won two setter of the week awards this season, with the last coming on September 13.
Albany (15-7 overall record, 5-2 in America East) split two matches with Binghamton over the weekend... The Great Danes dropped a 3-0 decision to the Bearcats at home before rebounding with a 3-2 win on the road... Senior Teresa Coppiellie (Canton, Mich./Salem) led the Great Danes, averaging 4.62 kills and 5.00 digs per set... She recorded career-high numbers in Sunday's victory with 25 kills and 26 digs to go along with four blocks, including three solo, and a .345 hitting percentage... Casey Wright (Ballston Spa, N.Y./Ballston Spa) finished with 15 kills and a .433 hitting percentage on Friday, before wrapping up the weekend with a 21-kill performance on Sunday... Setter Abbey Wexel (Virginia Beach, Va./Frank W. Cox) recorded a double-double of 40 assists and 10 digs in Friday's loss and finished with a career-high 53 assists on Sunday... Libero Laurie Gonzalez (Carolina, Puerto Rico/St. Francis School) averaged 5.87 digs per set in the two matches... She totaled 25 digs on Friday and 22 on Sunday, along with all four of the Great Danes' service aces in the victory... Albany will face UMBC in a Dig Pink match supporting the Side-Out Foundation for breast cancer awareness and research on Sunday at University Gym.
Binghamton University (10-12, 5-2 AE) split its home-and-home weekend series with the University at Albany... Binghamton swept the Great Danes in Albany Friday night, 25-21, 28-26, 25-23, for a very important conference victory... Anna Lejina (Riga, Latvia/Riga Secondary/U. of Latvia) paced the Bearcats with 16 kills and a season-high 20 digs. Michelle McDonough (Orlando Hill, Ill/Andrew) also registered a double-double with 16 kills and 12 digs... Junior setter Julie Chambers (Nichols, N.Y./Tioga) guided the Binghamton offense with 43 assists and added 10 digs... Sunday evening Binghamton welcomed Albany to West Gym for their second match in three days... In a highly competitive game Albany was able to outlast the Bearcats in five sets... Freshman Xiomara Ortiz (South Setauket, N.Y./Ward Melville) had the best game of her short collegiate career picking up 30 digs... McDonough put down a career-high 23 terminations while fellow classmate Lejina registered 22 kills... Binghamton was outhit .320 to .100 in the deciding set... Binghamton briefly held sole possession of first place in the America East but the two teams fell back into a tie atop of the conference standings following the Binghamton loss... Binghamton returns to action Friday, Oct 29. as it hosts UMBC... Game time is set for 6 p.m.
The Hartford volleyball team (7-17, 2-5 AE) finished a home-and-home series with the Stony Brook Seawolves with each team winning on its home court... The Hawks fell to the Seawolves in four sets on Friday in Stony Brook, N.Y. before topping the visiting Seawolves on Sunday, again in four sets... Leading the team in both matches was Kami Nethersole (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y./Hendrick Hudson) who finished with 10 kills on Friday and 11 kills on Sunday... In the win, she was tied with junior Michelle Cordell (Orlando, Fla./Edgewater) for the team lead, while rookie Lindsay Anderson (Crystal Lake, Ill./Crystal Lake Central) led the Hawks in hitting percentage with eight kills and no errors in 12 total attempts for a .667 hitting percentage... Defensively, the Hawks have been led by their junior libero Danielle Etta (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) who despite an injury, led the team in both matches with 13 and 15 digs, respectively... The Hawks will continue a four-match home stretch when they welcome the Providence Friars to West Hartford for a Friday night match... The Hawks and Friars will meet in the annual Dig Pink match at Hartford, with the start time scheduled for 6 p.m.
UMBC (8-13, 4-2 AE) lost its only match last week, falling to American, 3-0, Wednesday night at the RAC in Baltimore... Senior Sabrina Hoeks (Olympia, Wash./AG West Black Hills) continues to lead the team with 2.97 kills per set and a conference-leading 0.56 service aces per set... Junior Iman Kennedy (Charlotte, N.C./Independence) leads the team with 1.03 blocks per set, while freshman Hallie Carter (Huntington Beach, Calif./Edison) paces the team with 3.71 digs per set... The Retrievers return to America East action this weekend when they play at Binghamton Friday at 6 p.m. and Albany Sunday at 1 p.m.
UNH (8-14, 3-4 AE) split a home-and-home series with Providence College over the weekend with both teams earning a sweep at its home venue... The Wildcats are sitting in a fourth-place tie just over halfway through the regular season with the top four teams earning a berth in the America East Championship... On Friday night at PC, Amy Keding (Northbrook, Ill./Glenbrook North) registered a match-high 12 kills, Sara Heldman (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove) dished out 27 assists and Jayde Huxtable (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles North) notched 17 digs in a 3-0 loss to Providence... On Sunday, Sara Heldman dished out a match-high 28 assists and registered 14 digs, including her 1,000th, in a 3-0 sweep over Providence... Heldman becomes just the eighth player in program history with 1,000 digs and just the second in program history to record 1,000 digs and 1,000 assists... Amy Keding posted a match-high 11 kills and added seven digs, three aces and a block... Lauren Laquerre (Concord, N.H./Concord) and Taylor Dressing (Gillette, N.J./Watchung Hills) each added nine kills... Freshman Destiny Tolliver (Rochester, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) had eight kills and 13 digs, while Jayde Huxtable chipped in with a dozen digs... New Hampshire travels to Stony Brook University on Friday, Oct. 29 (7 p.m.) and will play at Hartford on Sunday, Oct. 31 (1 p.m.).
The Providence College volleyball team (10-18, 2-5 AE) went 1-2 on the week, falling in its final non-conference match of the regular season at Byrant, before splitting a pair of America East matches with New Hampshire. Against intrastate rival Bryant on Wednesday, October 20, Providence was led by a pair of juniors, as Lauren Fletcher (Syracuse, N.Y./Marcellus) and Shelagh Dolan (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) notched nine and eight kills, respectively. Despite the efforts of the middle blockers, the Friars fell to the Bulldogs in straight-sets... Providence rebounded on Friday, October 22, when it played host to New Hampshire. The Friar back row was phenomenal, as the Friar defense was led by sophomore libero Cassie Muzzonigro (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine Richland), who picked up 19 digs... Senior co-captain Emily Morris (Hermosa Beach, Calif./Marymount) picked up nine digs, while junior setter Carly Morrison (Larkspur, Calif./Redwood) added seven, to go along with 19 assists... Fletcher got in on the defense as well, picking up a season-high in digs for a three-set match with five... The Friars then traveled to Durham, N.H., for the rematch on Sunday, with the Wildcats winning in straight sets... Fletcher notched a match-high 12 kills, to go along with a .391 hitting percentage... Morrison picked up 20 assists, while Muzzonigro recorded a team-high 10 digs... The Friars return to the court this Friday and Sunday, October 29 and 31, when they travel to league foes Hartford and Stony Brook.
The Seawolves (8-15, 3-4 AE) split a pair of matches with Hartford over the weekend... The Seawolves hit .343 in the win over Hartford on Friday... Junior Alicia Nelson (Apple Valley, Minn.) led three Seawolves in double-figures with 15 kills on a .433 hitting percentage... Freshman Evann Slaughter (Clinton, Md.) tallied a career-best 14 kills while senior Ashley Headen (Alexandria, Va.) totaled 12 kills on a .750 hitting percentage... Junior Kelsey Sullivan (Hamilton, Va.) orchestrated the Seawolves offense, dishing out 37 assists ... The Seawolves then fell to the Hawks, 3-1, on Sunday... Headen tallied a match-high 19 kills on .429 hitting percentage... Headen averaged 3.88 kills per set for the week... Senior Jeanette Gibbs (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) registered a season-best 23 digs on Sunday ... SBU is in the midst of a stretch in which it plays six of seven matches at home and will host New Hampshire and Providence this weekend.