Volleyball Falls to Albany, 3-0, in AE Championship Semifinals

ALBANY, N.Y. – Freshman Abby Brinkman (Brecksville, Ohio) had 10 kills and sophomore Sam Henke (Millersville, Md.) recorded a game-high 19 digs, but the University of New Hampshire volleyball closed out the 2012 season with a 3-0 loss to Albany in the America East Championship semifinals at Albany's University Gym.

Fourth-seeded UNH wraps up the season at 15-14 overall, while top-seeded Albany improves to 14-14 and advances to the conference title game against Binghamton on Saturday (7 p.m.). Set scores in the match were 23-25, 15-25 and 14-25.

Brinkman also hit at a .370 clip, while sophomore Taylor Dunklau (Mukwonago, Wis.) posted 24 assists and 12 digs for the double-double. Freshman Madison Lightfoot (Clarkston, Mich.) chipped in with 10 digs.

Albany held a slim lead in the opening set until the wildcats reeled off three straight as a Henke ace capped off the stretch to even the score at 9-9. The teams continued to go back-and-forth from there and after nine more even scores everything was knotted up at 23 points apiece, but the Great Danes closed it out with consecutive points for the 25-23 victory.

The teams were evenly matched to open the second stanza until Albany broke a 10-10 tie with a 9-2 run to move out in front, 19-12. The Great Danes ended with a 6-3 stretch to claim the set, 25-15.

Albany jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the third set and then netted seven unanswered points for the 13-2 advantage and forced a UNH timeout. The Wildcats responded with a 2-1 series, but could not trim the deficit to single digits the rest of the way as the Great Danes claimed the 25-14 victory and match sweep.

The match marked the final go-around for seniors Jessie Schnepp (East Longmeadow, Mass.) and Jansan Falcusan (Plymouth, Mich.).

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