Great Danes Take Volleyball Title In Sweep
Albany (21-8), who also won the America East Regular-Season Championship, will find out its NCAA destiny during the selection show Sunday, Nov. 27 on ESPNU at 6 p.m.
Senior setter Brooke Stanley, who returned from a knee injury which sidelined her last season, earned the Most Outstanding Player award. After compiling a double-double with 34 assists and 15 digs in the semifinal match against UMBC, Stanley added 39 assists in Saturday's final and paced the Great Danes to a .393 team hitting percentage.
Albany senior middle blocker Casey Wright, who hit .542 with a team-high 14 kills and put away the winning point in each set, joined Stanley on the All-Championship Team. Great Dane junior outside hitter Dunja Prgomet was also an All-Championship Team pick with 12 kills, six digs and three blocks in the title game.
Stony Brook senior Alicia Nelson, the 2011 America East Player of the Year, tallied a match-high 16 kills, including seven in the first set. She earned All-Championship Team honors along with Stony Brook freshman libero Laura Hathaway.
The Seawolves (15-13) out-digged the Great Danes 52-42, however Albany out-hit (.393-.216) and out-blocked (8.0-0.0) Stony Brook.
Both of the first two sets were close, particularly early, as there were seven ties in set one and nine ties in the second set.
In the third set, Stanley served for six straight points to open the game. Albany took a 4-0 lead early on three Stony Brook attack errors and a kill by Samantha Brostrom. A bad set and a Traci Vandegrift kill put the Great Danes up 6-0. A couple of errors from Albany and a pair of Seawolves kills from Kaitlin Costello and Nelson ended the Seawolves' drought, but the Great Danes wouldn't relinquish the lead.
The closest Stony Brook would get in the third set was an 11-10 deficit after running off three straight points coming out of a timeout. Greta Strenger executed a kill, while a pair of Albany attacking errors with Costello serving brought the Seawolves within one. A Prgomet kill put the Great Danes back up by multiple points for good.
The Great Danes hit .371 in the third set while holding the Seawolves to .056. A five-point run which included two kills each from Wright and Prgomet put Albany on the verge, 24-16. A kill from Strenger staved off championship point temporarily, but Wright executed a kill on the very next play to put the match away for the Great Danes.
University of New Hampshire's Amy Keding and UMBC's Dalton Tolliver were each tabbed to the All-Championship Team as well for their semifinal performances on Friday.