VESTAL, N.Y. – Led by a pair of double-digit kill efforts from senior Amy Keding (Northbrook, Ill.) and sophomore Morgan Thatcher (Brockton, Mass.), the University of New Hampshire volleyball team swept past Binghamton, 3-0, Sunday afternoon at West Gym in the regular season finale.
With the win, the Wildcats finish the regular season at 10-19 overall and 8-4 in America East play, earning the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament next weekend (Nov. 18-19). The Bearcats were eliminated from playoff contention and wrapped up the season at 13-17 overall and 5-7 in the league. Reigning conference champion University at Albany earned the top seed and will host the league tournament for the fourth straight season. UNH will face off against No. 3 seed Stony Brook on Friday, Nov. 18 while No. 4 UMBC rounds out the four-team tournament.
Keding posted a match-high 15 kills and added eight digs, while Thatcher recorded 11 kills and hit at a .360 clip. Freshman Taylor Dunklau (Mukowonago, Wis.) led all players with 35 assists, finishing with nine digs and four service aces.
As a team, the Wildcats registered a .320 hitting percentage, the second-best single-match mark by the squad this season. UNH qualifies for the AE tournament for the second time in the last three years, last making the contest in 2009.
In the opening set, the Wildcats held a slim 10-9 advantage before three straight pushed the UNH lead to four at 13-9. After trading points and still on top by four at 17-13, UNH reeled off three consecutive points, paving the way for a 25-19 victory and 1-0 advantage in the match.
In the second set, the teams were all tied up at 16-16 before the Wildcats scored three straight, capped off by a Sam Henke (Millersville, Md.) service ace for the 19-16 advantage. The Bearcats fought back and pulled within two at 24-22, but could not get closer as a kill by Keding sealed the 25-22 victory.
In the third set, the Wildcats held a slim lead at 14-13 before a kill by Thatcher spark a 5-0 run for the 19-13 lead as the visitors cruised to the 25-18 win and 3-0 match victory.
Second-seeded UNH returns to action on Friday, Nov. 18 in the America East Championship semifinals against third-seeded Stony Brook, with a time still yet to be determined, on the campus of top-seeded Albany.