Cambridge, Mass.--Hosting rights for the 2010 America East Volleyball Championship came down to the final day of the regular season, but this year's tournament will be at a familiar place. University at Albany won its third-straight regular-season crown and will host the conference tournament for the sixth time in the last seven years on Friday, November 19 and Saturday, November 20.
The winner of the four-team tournament will earn the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Championship.
Albany (20-7 overall record, 10-2 in America East) came into the final weekend leading Binghamton by one match in the standings. While the Bearcats still had a chance to host the championship and held the tie-breaker had the teams tied atop the league, the Great Danes won both their matches to close out the regular season and finish alone in first place.
title is always a goal, but it's not the end-all," said Albany head
coach MJ Engstrom. "We still have a lot of work to do.
There is a lot of parity in the conference this season. We will play
Stony Brook in the first round, and we got a good look at them today,
but they got a good look at us as well, so I'm sure there will be
Binghamton (14-13, 8-3) finished second, followed by UMBC (11-16, 7-5) as the third seed and Stony Brook (11-17, 6-6) as the fourth seed. The Great Danes and Seawolves will meet in one semifinal on Friday, while the Bearcats and Retrievers square-off in the other semifinal contest. The winners will meet on Saturday to determine the champion.
The Bearcats are the reigning tournament champions after upsetting the top-seeded Great Danes on their own home court last year. Albany has won four of the last six America East Tournament crowns, including three-straight in 2006, 07 and 08.
Albany defeated its upcoming semifinal opponent, Stony Brook, 3-1, on Sunday to clinch the regular-season title. Binghamton also won its match on Sunday, 3-1, over Hartford to close out the regular season. UMBC split its final two matches, falling to UNH in five sets on Friday and then upending Providence, 3-0 on Sunday. The Retrievers are looking to get back to the title match for the first time since 2006. The Seawolves wrapped up the regular-season slate with the tough challenge of facing Binghamton and Albany back-to-back, dropping both matches by 3-1 scores. They'll return to Albany next week eyeing an upset in a rematch with the Great Danes.
2010 America East Volleyball Championship
All matches at University Gym, Albany, N.Y.
Friday, November 19 - Semifinals
#4 Stony Brook at #1 Albany, TBD
#3 UMBC vs. #2 Binghamton, TBD
Saturday, November 20 - Final
Semifinal winners, TBD