Stony Brook Outlasts Albany in America East Tourney Title Match

  0 volleymob | November 18th, 2018 | College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News

Stony Brook def. Albany 3-2 (17-25, 25-14, 25-18, 21-25, 15-8)

  • Stony Brook secures second straight America East Tournament title
  • Stony Brook moves to 21-8; Albany moves to 16-11
  • Stony Brook, N.Y.
  • Box Score

Courtesy: Stony Brook Athletics

STONY BROOK, N.Y.- For the second straight year, the Stony Brook volleyball team has won the America East Championship. The Seawolves defeated Albany in a five set battle (17-25, 25-14, 25-18, 21-25, 15-8) in the championship game Saturday night. Stony Brook improves to 21-8, and the Great Danes finish their season 16-11.

Coach Belzung’s Reaction
“That was exactly what a championship atmosphere should be like. Huge thank you to our crowd and students for making Pritchard a hostile environment tonight. Albany came to play. They defended and adjusted throughout the entire match but our group was on a mission. I am so proud of our team for earning the opportunity to represent Stony Brook and the America East in the NCAA Tournament.”

By the Numbers vs. Albany
– Graduate student Emily Costello (Webster, N.Y.) led the way with 17 kills.
– Senior McKyla Brooks (Blasdell, N.Y.) notched 13 kills and five blocks.
– Junior Jordan Gels (Lewis Center, Ohio) recorded nine kills and two blocks.
– Junior Kendra Harlow (St. James, N.Y.) and junior Maria Poole (Stavanger, Norway) each notched nine kills.
– Junior LeAnne Sakowicz (Wauconda, Ill.) tallied 54 assists and 16 digs in the victory.

– The 2018 America East title is the second in program history.
– Sakowicz, Costello and sophomore Kiani Kerstetter (Cardiff, Calif.) were named to the All-Championship Team, with Costello being Most Outstanding Player.
– The Seawolves are now 16-32 all-time against the Great Danes.
– The team continued it’s winning ways, making it 17 in a row.
– With the victory, the Seawolves punched their ticket to the NCAA tournament.

Up Next
The selection show for the NCAA Volleyball Tournament will be held on Sunday, November 25 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

Courtesy: Albany Athletics

Volleyball Score: Stony Brook 3, UAlbany 2 (25-17, 14-25, 18-25, 25-21, 8-15)

Location: Stony Brook, N.Y. – Pritchard Gym

Records: UAlbany (16-11) Stony Brook (21-8)

Head Coach MJ Engstrom

“We played tough and we played a good match tonight. We have a very young team, we played three freshmen for most of the match. Credit to Stony Brook, they seized the opportunities when it mattered.”

Short Story: In a battle of the top-two seeds, the second-seeded UAlbany volleyball team saw its season end in a five-set heartbreaker in the America East Championship on Saturday evening. The Great Danes fought back to even the match 2-2 but ultimately fell, 3-2, to top-seeded Stony Brook.

By the Numbers:

  • Akuabata Okenwa notched a game-high 21 kills, while Chloe Evering chipped in with 14 kills and a .238 hitting percentage.
  • Stony Brook’s Leanne Sakowicz tallied 54 assists to lead all players and added a match-best three aces.
  • Stony Brook finished the night hitting .254, while UAlbany was limited to a .170 mark.
  • Nicole Otero posted 28 digs, marking her 15th game with 20-plus digs this season.

Final Notes: The Great Danes comeback fell just short, as No. 1 Stony Brook slipped by No. 2 UAlbany to claim the America East Championship on Saturday night.

Junior Akuabata Okenwa posted a game-high 21 kills in the match, while senior Nicole Otero notched a match-best 28 digs. Otero graduates third all-time in program history with 1,863 career digs.

“Across the weekend we played good volleyball. We had great energy against New Hampshire yesterday, and just lost a little bit of that energy tonight. Congratulations to Nicole on an accomplished career.”

Okenwa and Otero were selected to the America East All-Tournament team for their efforts on the court this weekend. Junior Chloe Evering earned the prestigious Elite-8 award, given to the athlete with the highest cumulative GPA competing in the championship. Evering, a biology major, owns a 3.98 GPA.

UAlbany finishes the 2018 season with a 16-11 overall record and a 10-3 clip in America East action.

Earlier this year, Otero was named the America East Defensive Player of the Year for a record-setting third time in her career while Andersen Vaughan was tabbed the Rookie of the Year. In all, six Great Danes garnered All-Conference selection.

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