Albany And Stony Brook To Meet In Title Match
Stony Brook will be making its first title game appearance since 2007 while Albany is making its sixth straight championship game. The Great Danes swept the regular-season home-and-home series.
In the first semifinal on Friday, Stony Brook defeated second-seeded New Hampshire by a 3-1 score. Albany swept the second semifinal over fourth-seeded UMBC, 3-0.
Both matches of the regular season between Stony Brook and UNH went five sets, and with the back-and-forth play, the semifinal seemed destined to go the distance as well. Stony Brook took the first set 25-23, and took a two-sets-to-none lead with a 25-22 victory in the second set. New Hampshire won set five, 25-22, and the Seawolves put the match away by a 25-19 score.
The America East Player of the Year Stony Brook senior Alicia Nelson finished with a double-double of a game-high 16 kills and 21 digs. Sophomore Evann Slaughter also finished in double-digits with 10 kills. All-rookie choice Laura Hathaway, a libero, tallied 28 of the Seawolves' 93 digs.
First-team all-conference outside hitter Amy Keding led New Hampshire with 16 kills and 16 digs. Junior setter Jansan Falcusan totaled 38 assists and 14 digs for a double-double as well.
Albany eked out a 25-23 win in the first set over the Retrievers, before having to rally back with the final six points to take the second set 26-24. With the momentum on their side, the Great Danes closed out the match with a 25-20 win in the third set.
Senior middle blocker Casey Wright, who had two big kills and three blocks during the six-points run in the second set, finished with eight kills and five blocks. All-rookie Samantha Brostrom finished with a game-high 13 kills. Setter of the Year Brooke Stanley had yet another outstanding match with 34 assists, 15 digs and four kills.
The 2011 Rookie of the Year, Dalton Tolliver, led UMBC with 13 kills on a .393 hitting percentage. Senior setter Alexandra Spaay dished out 30 assists and dug out 12 balls.