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Volleyball update from Coach Sheffield

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Hello Friends, Family, and Alumni of UAlbany Volleyball!


A big weekend at home earned the Great Danes two hard-fought victories over Maine and New Hampshire. Both were very significant as Maine entered the weekend undefeated, and the fact that we've never beaten UNH. In the match against Maine, our passing was very good and our offense was even better. Sophomore Blair Buchanan led the team to a .506 hitting percentage - one of our highest of the season. All five hitters hit between .440 and .600. The team started off extremely strong and kept getting better as the match went on. The next day against two-time defending conference champion UNH was a terrific battle. Both teams made some amazing plays defensively, and hit some great shots offensively. The back-row defense was about as good as it's been all year. What is also starting to become evident is the balance of our team at the net. Ashlee Reed, Shelby Goldman, Susan Spierre, Ashley Green, and Ashley Hunter, are all in the Top 10 in the conference in hitting percentage; with Goldman and Hunter leading the conference in kills/game. The balance of our offense, and the speed of our attack is making it very difficult to defend against. The two wins this weekend put us at 17-5 overall, and at 5-0 in the America East. And winners of 11 in a row and 16 of our last 17.


Sophomore Ashley DeNeal led the way defensively for us. She had 23 digs in the three game match against UNH. Here's what she had to say about the weekend:


"The team is really enjoying the success we have had so far. Although we respect every team in the conference, New Hampshire was a huge win for us. Also, with the improvement that Maine has made from last year, it shows that the AE Conference is becoming stronger every year. We realize that to reach our goal (America East Championship!), we must continue to get better day by day. We have worked really hard up to this point, and will continue to do so until we have reached our goal. Every match provides us with another opportunity to improve on our game. I know that the entire team is excited to reach the conference tournament at the end of year, and show everyone what UAlbany is really all about."


The other big news is Eileen Nicole Rodriguez' pursuit of the NCAA career record for service aces. Eileen picked up 5 against Maine and another 3 against UNH. That puts her 6 away from tying the record! As always, you can follow Eileen's pursuit on any of the following web-sites: www.albany.edu/sports, www.americaeast.com, or www.bigpurplefans.com This week closes out our first trip through the conference with road matches at UMBC and Stony Brook. Both matches should be big tests as we went 5 games with both of them at their place a year ago. Other good news is that we are currently working on having live stats at our home matches for the rest of the season. So fans that are not able to attend the match, will be able to follow us live on-line. I will let you know when this happens. The schedule for the next two weeks is as follows.

Fri. 10/22 @ UMBC 7:00 pm

Sat. 10/23 @ Stony Brook 4:00 pm

Tues. 10/26 @ Binghamton 7:00 pm

Fri. 10/29 NORTHEASTERN 7:00 pm

Sat. 10/30 HARTFORD 4:00 pm (following the football game)


We look forward to seeing you on the road or in the stands at home!

Thanks for your support!


Kelly Sheffield

Edited by Dane Pound
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As always, you can follow Eileen's pursuit on any of the following web-sites: www.albany.edu/sports, www.americaeast.com, or www.bigpurplefans.com


Dane Pound - noticed there wasn't a period after www.bigpurplefans.com - did you add that or did Sheffield really have it in the update. If so that is good pub for the site.

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Coach Sheffield had it in his update. I wouldn't want to add anything to his update and then attribute it to him.


The update is a great idea and for him to include the BPF site is terrific. Hopefully I'll see him at the luncheon tomorrow to thank him in person.

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