By Christian Hince | October 25, 2021
The Great Danes beat Hartford for the second time this season Sunday, this time on the road.
The four-set victory moved the Danes to 8-12 overall with a 4-2 conference record and dropped the hosting Hawks to 4-16 in total with a 2-4 conference mark.
“It was a great comeback win tonight,” said coach Josh Pickard. “We came into a tough second half of this road trip a little flat but we were able to turn it around in sets two-four.”
Hartford started the first set strong, scoring the first point and jumping out to an early 7-4 four lead. The Danes fought back, tying the round at 11 and riding a five-point run to a 17-14 advantage. The Hawks then forged a comeback of their own though, taking the set 25-23.
After UAlbany scored the first point of the second half, Hartford carried their momentum to a 3-1 advantage. Favor switched however when an Oren Abutbul kill began a 10-1 Great Dane run that put the team up 13-5. Three and four-point streaks built this into an overwhelming 23-10 lead that Hartford couldn’t overcome when they outscored the opponent 10-1 themselves. UAlbany won 25-20.
The Danes marched forth in the third, starting up 7-3 and carrying seven and five-point runs to a 22-12 lead. Six volleys later, UAlbany took the set 25-15.
The fourth set was a hard-fought one. While both squads traded points, the Danes didn’t take the lead until going up 9-8 and then 10-8. The Hawks soon took back the advantage at 11-10, and the round would continue with back-and-forth volley wins. This was until four straight UAlbany scores put them up 22-18, a lead they held until the 25-22, ending the night.
Oren Abutbul led the Great Dane offense, tallying 18 kills and a .500 hitting percentage. Critical in setting up team kills was Malea Stanton, who led the squad with 28 assists.
Coach Pickard praised the team’s defense “We were able to slow Hartford’s production and turn those digs into points.” Charlotte Macken showed out in this department, with a team-leading 18 digs against the Hawks. Lilou Stegeman and Danielle Tedesco also led the Danes in blocks with four each.
UAlbany comes home Friday for a challenge against UMBC, the America East leader at 7-0 in the conference.