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Volleyball Update from Coach Sheffield

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Dear Alumni, Family and Friends of UAlbany Volleyball:


This past weekend saw the start of the America East Conference. We opened up at Binghamton - a very talented team that returns all but one player off their NCAA tournament team of a year ago. And for the first time since the end of the '03 season, we got swept by a conference opponent. Although we did not play a great match by any means, there's no question that the better team won. The Bearcats played much more inspired defense, and did a better job of finding ways to get the ball to the floor. The crowd was also great for them and was probably as good of a crowd as we've had to play in front of in conference. On Sunday afternoon we played host to UMBC - a very young team that is improving faster than anyone in the conference. We jumped out to a quick start in Game 1. Game 2 we had too many untimely service errors and the third game they came out smoking to take a 2-1 lead. Game four and five we rode the arm of Shelby Goldman, who had 30 kills and hit .439 on the night, to win 3-2. This has been a team that has a lot of confidence in 5th games. Over the past four years, we are 14-3 in five game matches (including 3-0 this season). In the match, Kristin Fiorillo had a career-high 28 digs and Blair Buchanan had her first career triple-double (14 kills, 58 assists, and 13 digs). Hillary White's thoughts on the week: "Last week was a challenge for us especially with our game against Binghamton. We showed up to play but our ball control and defense just wasn't where it should have been. After a tough loss we bounced back knowing that we had another challenge facing us (UMBC). We started off the game against UMBC strong but we had lost a lot of our momentum going into games two and three. We fought hard, made some adjustments, and brought it together as a team to win in five games."


A few other things of note: Last week Ashley DeNeal set a new school record for career digs, surpassing Hall-of-Famer, Rafaela Nikas' mark. Ashley has had an awesome career and now has 1655 career digs. Also last week, Shelby Goldman passed former great Alissa Gibbs for 2nd on the career Kills list and is 105 behind the incomparable Patty Munhall-Blacklock's record.


This coming week we've got two big home matches against Stony Brook (Friday at 7pm) and Hartford (Saturday at 7pm). As you probably remember, Stony Brook is the team that knocked us out of the conference tournament last season. We'll need all of the support we can get! Also, if you are interested in joining the Volleyball Booster Club, please contact Eileen Daugherty at uvavb.booster@gmail.com. GO GREAT DANES!!!

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