DURHAM, N.H.- University of New Hampshire (23-10) won their first America East Volleyball Championship since 1998 with a 3-1 victory over Stony Brook University (22-13) today at Lundholm Gymnasium in Durham, N.H. Championship Most Outstanding Player Lauren Knight tallied a match-high 16 kills to lead the Wildcats to their second NCAA appearance.
New Hampshire tallied the first four points of the match and led 8-3 before Stony Brook ran off five straight points to tie the match at eight. With the score 16-14 in favor of the Wildcats, New Hampshire scored eight of the next 10 points to take a24-16 lead on the way to a 30-20 game one win. Lauren Knight had five kills on eight attempts to lead the Wildcats.
Game two saw 17 ties and four lead changes as neither team could take control of the game in the early going. With the score tied at 16, Stony Brook used a 7-3 run to take a 23-19 lead, the Seawolves largest of the game, before the Wildcats came back to tie the game at 26 with four consecutive points. The game seesawed back and forth from there, until Stony Brook scored the final two points of the game to even the match at one game apiece. Latoya Byerly tallied a game-high seven kills to lead the Seawolves, while Sasha Scott recorded 11 digs for New Hampshire.
New Hampshire took control of the third game early, taking 14 of the game's first 19 points, and leading by as many as 16, 27-11, on the way to a 30-16 win. Amy Dai hit a perfect four-for-four for the Wildcats.
In game four, with the score tied at 10, the Wildcats scored seven of the next 10 points to take a 17-13 lead. Stony Brook climbed back into the match and closed the gap to 20-19, before New Hampshire closed out the match by taking 10 of the next 13 points, including the last four.
Alyson Coler recorded 15 kills, and Sasha Scott registered a match-high 16 blocks for New Hampshire. Natasha Otte tallied 13 kills, and 10 total blocks for the Wildcats, while Anne Davis recorded a match-high 55 assists.
Valerie Maloy led Stony Brook with a match-high 16 kills, while Latoya Byerly added 15 kills. Three Seawolves tallied 10 or more digs, and Julie Zub was credited with 38 assists.
New Hampshire senior Lauren Knight was named the Championship's Most Outstanding Player.
The Wildcats advance to the NCAA Championship for the first/second time, with seedings and pairings to be announced at 9 p.m. on Sunday, December 1 on ESPNEWS.