Volleyball battles UMBC, Binghamton with playoffs in sight
Nov. 8, 2012
2012 Stony Brook Volleyball
Match #24 UMBC (14-14, 7-4 AE) at Stony Brook (11-12, 6-4 AE)
Nov. 11, 2012 Pritchard Gymnasium Stony Brook, N.Y. 12 p.m.
Stony Brook closes out the regular season with two important home matches, facing UMBC Friday and Binghamton on Sunday. All three teams, along with New Hampshire, are battling for spots in next weekend's four-team America East Championship. The Seawolves are looking to avenge road losses to both teams last month, but this is a different team right now that is playing its best balanced and cohesive volleyball all season. Stony Brook has won four straight matches and is looking for its first-five straight winning streak since 2007. Wins over both teams this weekend will ensure a playoff bid. Splitting the pair of matches will likely leave things to tiebreakers. Losing both matches will likely leave Stony Brook on the outside looking in.
Back-to-Back Honors: On Nov. 5, Melissa Rigo was named America East Rookie of the Week for the second straight week and sixth time this season. Evann Slaughter was named America East Player of the Week after leading the team with a .447 hitting percentage vs. Providence and New Hampshire.
Seawolves Sweep: After a killer road weekend Oct. 26-28 with wins at Albany and at Hartford, the Seawolves swept the weekly America East awards. Melissa Rigo was named America East Player and Rookie of the Week, and Nicole Vogel was named Setter of the Week.
Scouting UMBC: The Retrievers have been hot of late, winning five of their last six matches, including a four-set victory over first-place Albany. UMBC's specialty this year has been blocks and aces. The team averages 2.22 blocks and 1.46 aces per set, both tops in the conference. UMBC needs a win today to ensure a spot in the America East Championship.
Scouting Binghamton: The Bearcats have won three of their last four, but need a win over Stony Brook to ensure a spot in the America East Championship. Binghamton had a chance to do so vs. Albany last weekend, but lost a close four-set match that featured scores of 20-25, 27-25, 23-25, 20-25. The Bearcats have been a balanced attacking team with four players over 200 kills for the season, including leader Iva Partaleva, who has 3.56 kills per set. Grace Vickers and Alex Roland are at the top of league in hitting percentage, and Amanda Dettmann has proven to be a strong setter at 9.78 assists per set to lead the conference.
Rigo Power Nationally: Melissa Rigo ranks 19th in the nation in kills per set at 4.36, and she is 22nd in the country in points per set with 4.93. She is second nationally among freshmen in both categories.
Senior Day: Prior to Sunday's game, the Seawolves will honor their lone senior, Greta Strenger, who has contributed so much to the team, the athletics department and the university.
Up Next: Should Stony Brook qualify for the America East Championship, the Seawolves will play in the semifinals either Friday, Nov. 16 or Saturday, Nov. 17.