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Volleyball Update from Coach Sheffield

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Hello Friends, Family, and Alumni of UAlbany Volleyball!


The first half of the conference season came to a close following this weekend's matches at UMBC and Stony Brook. Both teams took the opening game from us - the first time all season that we've lost a game in conference. But both times the team responded well to the challenge and took the next three games. The big news from the weekend, outside of the wins, was junior Eileen Nicole Rodriguez breaking the NCAA career record for service aces! Although it would have been nice to do in front of our fans, it was a special moment none-the-less. In the forth game at UMBC we were down 19-14 when she went back to serve. When she was done, we had a 24-19 lead with seven of the points being aces. During this stretch is when she tied and broke the record. Obviously our team was very excited for her at the time! When she was done, she had 11 aces on the night, which was the eleventh time in her career that she has had double digit aces in a match. Sophomore Shelby Goldman also had a huge match as she hammered 26 kills in 43 attempts for a .558 hitting percentage.


On Saturday we played a very tall Stony Brook team. After losing game one, and being down by more than ten points in game two, we started playing very well and made one heck of a comeback. We really showed our composure and confidence as a team this weekend when other teams had us against the ropes. Sophomore Ashley DeNeal had an absolute amazing match in the backrow with 34 digs. We often praise our attackers, but she was magnificent defensively. Sophomore setter Blair Buchanan also set a school record with 71 assists. But the player of the weekend was probably junior Ashlee Reed. She has been absolutely dominating since the conference season has started and this weekend was no different. She had 30 kills, 3 errors, in 56 attempts for a .482 hitting percentage. She also averaged 3 digs and a block per game, while passing 67% of her passes perfectly. The past month she has established herself as the best all-around player in the conference and is still getting better.


The team now stands at 19-5 overall with a 7-0 America East Conference record as we head into the second half of the conference schedule. Also, Rodriguez was named co-player of the week in the conference, one week following Goldman's player of the week honor. Buchanan was also named conference setter of the week for the 5th time in the last six weeks. This is what Ashley Reed had to say about the weekend:


"This weekend was one for the record books! Eileen Rodriguez shattered the NCAA Div.I record for service aces in a career, Blair Buchanan broke a personal and school record for number of assists in a game (71) and Ashley DeNeal had a personal best 34 digs against the amazons of Stony Brook. In both of the games on Friday and Saturday, we started out a little slow but we gained momentum and we played as a team and came out with a 3-1 victory against UMBC and Stony Brook. Most importantly, our team never stopped fighting. We were down by more than a few points a couple of times but we didn't let that phase us. Now we are 19-5 overall, 7-0 in conference play and looking forward to sweeping the next half of conference. We know all the teams are coming after us and that's the way we want it."


I also want to say that it was great to see '88 UAlbany graduate Yvette Rooks-Worrell and her daughter at UMBC. This week we play at Binghamton, before playing the next four matches here at home. I am told that there will be a special presentation for Eileen at our next home match and I will confirm that when I know the details. It would be great to have a huge crowd on hand to let her know how much we appreciate her accomplishment and to also get rowdy when 2nd place Northeastern comes to town.

Tues. @ Binghamton 7:00 pm


Sat. 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

UAlbany Volleyball

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