Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Senior middle Grace Vickers recorded a match-high 14 kills to lead the Binghamton volleyball team to a straight set victory over visiting UMass Lowell, Sunday afternoon in an America East matchup from West Gym.
The Bearcats handled the River Hawks 25-18, 25-13, 25-14 and snapped a brief two-game skid. UMass Lowell is in its first season as a member of the America East conference, elevating from Division II’s Northeast-10 conference.
“This was a big win for us today,” head coach Glenn Kiriyama said. “I think from now on we have to treat every match like the season is on the line. I thought we started a little slow, but it was good to see us respond and play much better in the last two games. I thought the entire team contributed to this win today and I believe that will be big for our morale.”
Aiding Vickers’ big day was junior setter Amanda Dettmann, who handed out 26 assists while adding a career-best seven service aces. Junior Kristin Hovie had a solid outing with eight kills and five digs, while her sister, Allison Hovie, posted a team-high seven digs.
In the first set a Kristin Hovie kill coupled with a Megan Burgess ace pushed Binghamton out to a 6-1 advantage. UMass Lowell countered with a 5-0 run however, to level the opening frame at six. A pair of Vickers terminations ignited a 4-0 run by the Bearcats to regain the lead, 10-6. Binghamton maintained its advantage throughout the middle portion of the set thanks to a Dettmann ace and block by Burgess and Shannon Kirkpatrick. The Bearcats held the River Hawks to a .000 hitting clip and captured the first set, 25-18.
Binghamton jumped out to an 11-5 lead in the second set following a Vickers smash and Dettmann dump. Back-to-back terminations from the right arm of Kristin Hovie extended Binghamton’s lead to eight, 15-7. UMass Lowell had no answer for the service game of Dettmann, who recorded three aces down the stretch to hand the Bearcats the second set, 25-13. Binghamton hit a match-high .421 during the frame while limiting UMass Lowell to a negative hitting percentage.
Kirkpatrick helped Binghamton race out to an 8-3 advantage following back-to-back kills. Two kills from Vickers continued the offensive assault for the Bearcats, but the River Hawks responded with a pair of their own to pull within four, 14-10. However, it was all Binghamton from there as Dettmann registered a pair of terminations and aces to give the Bearcats a 25-14 third set victory.
Binghamton hit a season-best .295 in its second straight-set victory of the year. The other sweep came against Siena on Sept. 17. The Bearcats recorded 10 service aces, tying their season-high, which was established against Towson on Sept. 6.
Binghamton improved to 4-0 all-time against UMass Lowell. Both institutions were members of the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) from 1998-2000. During that span the Bearcats defeated the River Hawks in each of their three meetings.
The Bearcats begin the second-half of their conference schedule next Saturday, Oct. 26 against SUNY rival Albany to conclude their six-match homestand. Binghamton was swept by Albany on Sept. 29 in the first meeting of the season.