By Christian Hince | October 22, 2022
Photo Credit: UAlbany Athletics
In their seventh week of play, the University at Albany dropped two in a row before closing out the week on top.
10/16: Postseason Rematch and a Shutout Loss
In set one, UMBC notched the first point before UAlbany battled back 3-2. The hosting Retrievers quickly took back momentum however, scoring eight of the next nine for a 10-4 lead. After a timeout the Great Danes cut the deficit to two with a 6-2 run, but UMBC surged to score seven of the next nine, going up 19-12. Down 24-19 later on, UAlbany stayed alive with a three-point streak but still lost with a Kamani Conteh kill, 25-22.
In the second, the Retrievers’ opening 4-0 burst was matched by a four-point run from the Great Danes, with both teams then matching each other point-for-point to a 9-9 tie. Down 11-10 shortly after, UAlbany saw UMBC take control with an 8-2 swing, pulling as far ahead as 21-13. The Great Danes cut into their late deficit again, whittling it down to 23-20, but again the Retrievers finished the job, 25-20.
UMBC rattled off the first four points in the third set as well, drawing this out to a 7-1 advantage which defined the round. UAlbany was never truly left in the dust, drawing to close margins at 9-7 and 12-10 and never letting the Retrievers' lead get far out of hand. The afternoon’s pattern reinforced, however, when down 22-18, the Great Danes saw UMBC score the final three to complete their sweep, 25-18. With this victory, the Retrievers remained undefeated in conference play at 4-0 and moved to 11-5 overall.
10/18: Comeback Falls Short
It was a game of inches early in the first set, with a 7-7 split being the seventh tie to that point. Sacred Heart took momentum at this point, going up 15-11 before a UAlbany timeout. This proved insufficient, however, as the visiting Pioneers fully pulled away for a resounding 25-16 victory.
Set two also had a battled beginning, with an Annisia Wong kill making the score 12-12 for tie number seven. This seemed to be Great Danes’ round, with them scoring five of the next six to go up 17-13. However, down 22-19, Sacred Heart let off a five-point burst which put them on the doorstep of game point. While an Anna Myhal kill kept UAlbany alive for another exchange, the Pioneers still closed it out, 25-23.
Facing match point, the Great Danes started quick in the third, going up 5-2 early before a Sacred Heart swing gave the visiting squad a 7-6 advantage. Trading points over the next few exchanges, down 11-10, UAlbany rattled off six straight points to take ownership of momentum. Never leading by more than six and allowing the Pioneers to cut the deficit to just 24-21 in the round’s final moments, a Hannah Rowe kill finished the job, 25-22.
The fourth set saw UAlbany up early again 3-1, but Sacred Heart surged back with 10 of the next 12. Staring at a commanding 11-5 deficit, the Danes answered with five straight of their own. With the Pioneers nursing their lead back to 16-12 a bit later, UAlbany flared up again with another four consecutive points to bring the round back to even. The Great Danes soon retook the lead at 20-19, and after giving up two to Sacred Heart, one last push capped off their comeback 25-22 and tied the match.
This fury continued into round five, with both teams tying for a sixth time at 7-7, however the Pioneers pulled out in front by scoring four of the next five. Staring at a 13-10 disadvantage, UAlbany scored three straight and matched Sacred Heart over a couple exchanges to a 15-15 tie. Two straight Great Dane attack errors were fatal though, as the Pioneers 17-15 win ended the night. The win brought Sacred Heart to 14-8 overall.
10/21: Back and Forth With Blowouts
UAlbany got the jump in set one, going up 5-1 and proceeding to dominate. Leading by as much as eight, up 20-12 the Gear Danes saw new life from Binghamton in the form of five straight points. After a timeout, UAlbany refortified this lead with two of their own, however the visiting Bearcats blazed again, using a 7-1 run to seize a 24-23 lead. Both teams went back and forth evading game point until the Great Danes, down 27-26, scored three straight for the victory, 29-27.
After jumping out to a 7-2 lead in the second, UAlbany saw Binghamton charge right back to force a 10-10 tie. Next, the Bearcats followed this up by scoring nine of the next eleven. Facing an imposing 19-12 hole, the Great Danes charged back with five straight, and made things as close as 20-19. Binghamton ultimately finished the job though, winning 25-21.
Despite a well fought opening to the third, four straight Bearcat points saw them burst out to an 8-3 lead which soon grew to 11-4 and then 14-6. While UAlbany’s deficit never got any worse, the Great Danes never drew closer than five, eventually falling by a lopsided score of 25-17.
After a sixth tie at 6-6 in the fourth, the Gear Danes pulled ahead 11-7 to take control for the foreseeable future. Binghamton kept within striking distance though, and down 20-17 they tied it with three in a row. Despite taking the lead at 22-21, UAlbany pushed back at the right time, notching the final four for a 25-22 victory.
Set five had a similar trajectory, with a fifth tie at 5-5 being followed by a three-point Great Dane run. While Binghamton brought it back to 9-7 after a timeout, UAlbany pulled away to win 15-9, putting an end to the night. The result dropped the Bearcats to 4-2 in conference and 13-7 overall, while UAlbany finished the week at 2-3 in conference and 7-15 overall, snapping a three-game losing streak.
The Great Danes will return on Sunday, with a home rematch against Bryant.