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Dear Alumni, Friends, and Family of UAlbany Volleyball:


Happy Halloween everyone! This was a big weekend for the Great Danes. We were playing New Hampshire and Binghamton - the two conference teams that have beaten us this season. On Saturday we played UNH who had gotten us in 5 up at their place 13 days earlier. The second match-up was as big of a war as the first. Both teams came out strong and played very good volleyball. We won the first two games as our offense was hitting on all cylinders. We really struggled in Game 3 with our serving and passing as UNH won that one and then won again in the fourth with both teams playing well. And for the 6th time this season we were heading to a 5th game. New Hampshire jumped out to leads of 7-2, 10-5, and 12-8. But behind the clutch play of Bev Hazell and Kristin Fiorillo we came back to win 15-13. Both players had quite a few service errors, but they also had a lot of aces for us. The big number that we are looking for from our servers is what percentage of time that our opponents are making perfect passes. We want that number to be under 40%. Kristin was at 22% and Bev was at 19%. Those are awesome numbers and really made it difficult for UNH to run any kind of offense. We scored a ton of points with the two of them at the service line. The other key for us, I believe, was the play of Mari Serkowski. She came in when we were behind in the 2nd and got us a run of points and made some spectacular digs when the game was on the line. Without her play, we don't go into the locker-room up 2-0.


Last night we had another grudge-match against conference leader, Binghamton, who had handed it to us the first match of the conference season, 3-0. The team was fired up to play and we really played great, winning 30-21, 30-17, 30-27. We played with tremendous poise and executed the game plan extremely well. Huge performances came from everywhere. Hillary White hit .385 with 12 digs and 6 blocks. And Kristin Fiorillo had another great match from the libero position. She picked up 16 digs, 4 aces, and had a tremendous passing night. She's been huge for us these last three matches! Also during the match, senior Shelby Goldman became the all-time kills leader at UAlbany surpassing Patty Munhall-Blacklock - '86. It's a great accomplishment for a player that is such a tremendous competitor and has improved so much throughout her career. With the win we jump out to the conference lead as we are aiming for our third straight regular season championship and the opportunity to host the conference tournament. This is what Ashley DeNeal had to say: "Last night's win over Binghamton was awesome. It's really going to help our team confidence. We all know that our hard work in practice is really paying off as we can see our improvement in every match!"


This Friday we will play Maine at 7:00. It will be Senior Night as we honor Blair Buchanan (Muncie, IN), Ashley DeNeal (Muncie, IN), Kristin Fiorillo (Painted Post, NY), and Shelby Goldman (Whitby, ONT). This group has meant a lot to the program on and off the court. Along with Goldman's accomplishment as the career kills leader at UAlbany, Buchanan will graduate as the career assist leader, and DeNeal as the career digs leader. I invite you all to honor these four players and cheer the Great Danes on to victory. After the match we will have a reception that is open to all members of the booster club. If you wish to attend the reception (or would like to join the booster club), please rsvp to: uavb.booster@gmail.com. If you cannot make it to the match, you can tune in and listen to the radio broadcast at http://www.albany.edu/~wcdb/


Thanks for the support and GO GREAT DANES!!!


Kelly Sheffield

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