VESTAL, N.Y. – The University of New Hampshire volleyball team defeated host Binghamton, 3-1 at West Gymnasium Friday evening. The set scores were 25-16, 22-25, 25-17 and 26-24.
UNH registers its fourth consecutive win, improving to 11-11 overall and 5-1 in America East Play. Binghamton drops to 4-16, 2-4.
Reigning America East Player of the Week Tori Forrest (Powder Springs, Ga.) led the Wildcats in kills, tallying 14 in the victory. Delaney Dameron (Alpharetta, Ga.) and Morgan Thatcher (Brockton, Mass.) each registered 12 kills, compiling hitting averages of .550 and .391 respectively. Taylor Dunklau (Mukwonago, Wis.) tallied a double-double performance, distributing 40 assists and recording 12 digs. Additionally, the setter orchestrated the offense to a .258 hitting percentage.
Anchoring the defensive effort, Madison Lightfoot (Clarkston, Mich.) and Katie Sattora (Avon, N.Y.) each notched 13 digs. Destiny Tolliver (Rochester, Mich.), Dunklau and Dameron each earned four blocks, hindering the Bearcats' attack to a .137 hitting percentage.
New Hampshire captured the opening set against Binghamton, recording a 25-16 victory. After surrendering the first point, UNH never trailed for the remainder of the initial set, hitting .400 as a team and held the Bearcats to a .152 clip. Dameron and Thatcher each logged three kills in the opening set while Dunklau racked up 12 assists and a service ace.
Despite outhitting the Bearcats .343 to .282, Binghamton evened the match score, logging a 25-22 win. The Bearcats and Wildcats exchanged the first 12 points at six apiece. Binghamton managed to string together three straight points to lead 9-6, forcing a New Hampshire timeout.
UNH rallied back, evening the match at 17 powered by a five-kill effort from Tolliver. In spite of a Binghamton timeout, two kills from Forrest followed up by a kill from Thatcher forced a second timeout from the Bearcats. Trailing 22-19, Binghamton was able to regroup, capturing six-straight points to level the match at one all.
New Hampshire's defense rose to the occasion in the third set, limiting Binghamton's offense to a match-low .033 hitting percentage. Even with the UNH offense held to a .192 clip, the Wildcats service game generated three service aces en route to a 25-17 win. Thatcher paced the offense, notching a trio of kills. Dunklau dished out six assists and served up two service aces. Sam Henke (Millersville, Md.) struck a service ace as well.
The Wildcats led for the majority of the third set but could not establish a comfortable lead. After tying the set score on four occasions, Binghamton took their first lead of the third stanza at 11-10. New Hampshire responded quickly, striking back-to-back service aces from Dunklau. Binghamton looked to battle back once again, trailing 16-15. However, New Hampshire went on a 9-2 run en route to taking the third set.
UNH continued to stifle the Binghamton attack, limiting the Bearcats to a .068 clip, powering New Hampshire to capture the decisive set, 26-24.
New Hampshire sparked out to an 11-4 lead to open the fourth set, fueled by kills from Forrest, Thatcher and Tolliver. Dameron tacked on two more kills, extending UNH's lead to 14-5, forcing Binghamton to take a timeout. Following the stoppage, the Bearcats notched a 4-0 run to cut the Wildcats' lead to nine. New Hampshire responded with a 4-0 run of its own, leading 18-9.
Binghamton rallied back, chipping the UNH lead down to four at 22-18, compelling New Hampshire to use a timeout. Regardless of the stoppage, Binghamton tied the match, notching a 5-1 run to even the score at 23. UNH regained its composure, capturing three-of-the-last four points to register the 3-1 victory.
The first-place Wildcats returns to the court on Sunday, Oct. 20 (1 p.m.) to take on host Albany.