ALBANY, N.Y. – Senior Amy Keding (Northbrook, Ill.) posted a team-high 16 kills and added 16 digs for the double-double, but the University of New Hampshire volleyball team ended the 2011 season with a 3-1 loss to Stony Brook University in the semifinals of the America East Championship held at Albany's University Gymnasium.
Second-seeded UNH closes out the 2011 campaign at 10-20 overall, while third-seeded Stony Brook improves to 15-12 overall and advances to the conference championship title match, facing the winner of the other semifinal match between top-seeded Albany and fourth-seeded UMBC. Set scores in the match were 23-25, 22-25, 25-22 and 19-25.
In addition to Keding, sophomore Morgan Thatcher (Brockton, Mass.) also registered double-digit kills with 10, while junior Jansan Falcusan (Plymouth, Mich.) paced all players with 38 assists and added 14 digs for the double-double performance. Freshman Sam Henke (Millersville, Md.) recorded a team-high 17 digs and a match-high four service aces, while senior Lauren Laquerre (Concord, N.H.) and junior Jessie Schnepp (East Longmeadow, Mass.) posted double-digit digs with 14 and 11, respectively.
In the first set, the teams were tightly contested until Stony Brook broke a 12-12 tie with a 6-1 run for the 18-13 advantage. The Wildcats would pull within four at 20-16 and then back-to-back kills by sophomore Destiny Tolliver (Rochester, Mich.) sparked four straight to even the score at 20 apiece. Still tied at 23-23, the Seawolves ended the stanza with consecutive kills to claim the 25-23 victory.
In the second set, the teams were once again evenly matched early on at 8-8, before Stony Brook netted four straight to take the lead at 12-8. Stony Brook held a slim lead throughout the remainder of the match, paving the way for a 24-20 lead at set point. UNH managed to rattle off consecutive kills to pull within two, but could not complete the comeback as the Seawolves took the set, 25-22, for the 2-0 lead.
Despite the 2-0 deficit in the match, New Hampshire fought back to claim the third set by a 25-22 decision. Stony Brook jumped out to a 14-9 lead, but the Wildcats responded with an 8-1 stretch, headlined by three service aces by Henke, to pull ahead at 17-15. After the Seawolves battled back to even the score at 20-20, the Wildcats answered with three straight, capped of by a kill by Thatcher for the 23-20 lead. Stony Brook trimmed the lead to two at 24-22 but it would not be enough as Laquerre sealed the win with a kill for the 25-22 victory.
In the fourth set, the teams were all knotted up at 15-15 before the Seawolves scored four straight for the 19-15 advantage, a lead they would not relinquish during the remainder of the set. The Wildcats pulled within two at 20-18 on a kill by Laquerre, but could not even the score as Stony Brook captured the stanza at 25-19 for the 3-1 victory.
The match was the final go-around for seniors Keding, Laquerre and Jessy Dick (Lethbridge, Alberta).