In their first conference matchup of the season, UAlbany lost in four sets to New Hampshire. The result put the Great Danes at 0-1 in conference play and 4-12, while the hosting Wildcats’ sixth straight win put them at 1-0 in conference play and 11-5 overall.
While UAlbany scored first in set one, six straight New Hampshire points put the home team in full control. The Danes were never left in the dust, scoring five straight down 17-10 and drawing close near the end with an Anissia Wong kill that set the score to 21-18. However, it was the Wildcats who took this one, 25-19.
Set two saw fortunes reversed, with New Hampshire scoring first before the Danes notched four straight. With play remaining balanced for the time being, UAlbany took their biggest lead of the set with a three point run that set the score to 17-11.
With the Danes’ advantage later at 23-18, a visible victory was made uncertain by four straight Wildcat points, but UAlbany ultimately closed the round with a Hannah Rowe kill, 25-23. Rowe finished the night with her second-straight double-double, tallying 16 kills and 20 digs.
While set three began the exact same way, the round featured some of the most rigorous competition of UAlbany’s season so far. Going blow for blow, an Alexa Harris kill knotted the round up at 18 for the eleventh tie of the set, before New Hampshire surged for three straight points. The Danes immediately canceled this out however with four of their own, retaking the lead at 22-21. The set’s final leg saw seven lead changes before UAlbany went up 32-31, but three in a row from the Wildcats made them the winners of an epic round, 34-32.
In the fourth, New Hampshire scored the first two and never gave the Danes anything more than a 5-5 tie. It was still competitive, with UAlbany drawing within one twice and bringing the score to 20-18 after a Wildcat attack error. Such efforts weren’t enough though, as New Hampshire took the set and the night with a 25-20 victory.
“I’m proud of the amount of kills we were able to generate, as well as our digs,” said Coach Josh Pickard. Alexa Harris and Anna Myhal led the offense with 17 kills each, while Charlotte Macken’s 23 digs spearheaded the defense. Anissia Wong also notched a team-high two blocks, Kaleigh Fitzgerald recorded two service aces, and Malea Stanton played setter for 61 kills.
“We had some really good things tonight and some things we need to work on,” said Pickard. “We committed a few too many errors and it was too much to come back from.”
The Great Danes will hit the road again Thursday when they travel to Massachusetts to take on Stonehill. They will look to bounce back from their loss.