By: Christian Hince | October 18, 2021
The Great Danes’ three-game winning streak ended Friday night at New Hampshire, where the team fell 3-2. Losing their second conference game of the season, UAlbany dropped to 7-12 overall and 3-2 in the conference, while the hosting Wildcats improved to 10-9 with a 2-3 conference record.
New Hampshire started the night strong with an early 4-1 lead. After going up 12-7 a little later in the first set, the Great Danes erased the deficit with five straight points. While UAlbany would keep within close range of the Wildcats, tying them twice more through the rest of the set, New Hampshire took the opening round by a score of 25-22.
The Wildcats also began the second set well, jumping out to a 6-3 lead. Despite playing from behind for most of the round, the Great Danes took their first lead at 20-19 with a Regan Wright kill. The team’s comeback held strong, as a block from Anissia Wong and Kamara Kelly tied up the night with a 25-23 UAlbany victory.
The Great Danes scored first in the third, jumping out to a 3-1 advantage. This set would play out similarly to the previous two sets for a stretch, with UAlbany playing from behind until tying it at 11. The round fell apart from here, as four-point and seven-point streaks from New Hampshire would put them up by 10. One score later, the Wildcats claimed their decisive 25-15 victory.
UAlbany also scored first in the following set, exchanging the lead with New Hampshire four times. This was until a five-point streak from the Danes put them ahead 13-9. It was now the Wildcats who were playing from behind, trailing 20-13 at one point. New Hampshire forged a furious comeback, bringing the deficit to one point before UAlbany won a nail-biting 25-23.
The final set began competitively, with the Great Danes scoring the first point and the two teams fighting to a 7-7 draw at the midpoint. It was all New Hampshire after this point though, as an 8-2 run gave them a clinching 15-9 victory.
Despite the loss, coach Josh Pickard still saw the bright side of things. “I’m very proud of our two right sides, Oren [Abutbul] and Danielle [Tedesco],” he said. Abutbul, a freshman, was first in kills with 26, led with a .459 hitting percentage, and was second in blocks with six.
Junior Malea Stanton was another UAlbany leader with team-highs in assists (30), digs (13), and service aces (2). Also, Lilou Stegman, playing her first game in nearly a month, was first in team blocks with seven.
The Great Danes travel on Sunday to Hartford, where they will rematch the 3-14 Hawks.