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The Great Danes of Albany visit the Hawks of Hartford for a volleyball showdown.

By David F.P. 10-12-08 [Modest 2008 Hartford Volleyball Image Gallery]

The two America East opponents faced off in what would prove to be another hard fought contest.   The home Hawks opened up to 7-3 lead thanks Hallie Fullagar’s smash, Erin Macro spiking off the block, another kill from Macro, followed by another, and then her block. She then combined with Makowicki on another block, and Hartford would tap the ball over for their 7th point.  Albany managed a spike from Cate Eckhardt and Amanda Cowdrey as well as point off a Hartford error.  On the next play though the Danes began a comeback. Both Macro and Teresa Coppiellie had great defensive saves, but Kellam came up with a block, and then unloaded a blast despite a great save by Makowicki earlier on the rally.  She scored again when Hartford passed the ball over the net while trying to set it up. The ball sailed to her and she blasted the overpass back.  Following a good dig by Abbey Wexel, Cowdrey delivered kill, and a Hawks two contact error put the visitors in the lead 7-8.  Makowicki responded with a big smash to tie it back up, but Cowdrey spiked off the defense and way out of bounds to regain the lead. A U of H attack out of bounds extended the lead, but two the two teams then traded errors to bring the score to 9-11.

Albany’s Laurie Gonzalez stepped into serve, and her serve bounced off several missed sets for a point. Michelle Cordell crushed the ball through the blockers, but Albany responded when White ran towards her setter jumped up and hammered the shot home. U of H won a battle at the net for a point, and they capitalized on a good defensive play by Danielle Etta as Maddison Molyneux delivered a hard spike. The score was now 12-13.  White received another good set and spiked it over, a U of H error followed to put the lead at 3, 12-15.

A battle rally ensued on the next pint, but Macro ended it with a put over. White responded with a misdirected hit. She lined up as if she was going to hit it to the middle but then managed to knock it to the right past the defense.  Makowicki replied crushing the ball through the defense. The Hawks served into the net and it was still a 3 point lead for Albany.

Makowicki struck again, but Cowdrey responded. A time out was called, and when play resumed Fullagar attacked sending the ball out of bounds off the touch.  Albany’s head coach strongly disagreed with the call and showed it getting a red card from the ref in response.  She called a time out to set things back up.  It worked as Eckhardt sent a cross court smash into the middle gap of the U of H defense, and Hillary White positively crushed her kill in  At 16-20, another time out was called.

Two Albany errors followed, but Eckhardt hammered a shot straight down the court to keep the lead at 3. Macro attacked again with success, but White responded with a smash, and Cowdrey was right behind her with another hard hit attack to get her team to 19-23.  The two teams traded errors and U of A was within 1 of the set win. Despite a serve out of bounds by the Great Danes that would be Hartford’s last point as Cowdrey sent a rocket just in bounds to end the set 21-25.  Albany 1, Hartford 0.

Set 2 opened up once again with Hartford pulling out to a lead off an Albany attack error, following a good dig by Etta, and after Molyneux had a good dig of her own Macro put the ball over the net, and Albany attacked out of bounds on the next play as well.  Etta and Molyneux both played good defense as well on the next play and the Danes knocked the ball over and outside the lines again.  Albany called a time out with the score 4-0 and quickly came back off Kalyn Mostert and Kellam’s tandem block, and two straight Hartford errors.  Macro picked up another kill, but the Hawks served out of bounds to keep the lead at 1.  Etta had another good dig during the next rally and Albany hit the ball four times to give another point to the Hawks. Another home team point would follow, and Macro would use a good set to full advantage with a blast. The Hawks lead 8-4.

The teams traded errors, and Hartford attacked out of bunds to put Albany within 3.  White then spiked the ball in to start a long Great Dane run consisting of Brooke Stanley’s serve being unreturnable, Mostert’s rocket, Stanley’s service ace, a great save by Eckhardt eventually leading to a teammate’s tap over, another Stanley Ace which hit the net and dropped into a gap, and a Mostert block before Cordell’s blast off several defensive dig attempts. The score now rested at 10-13 Albany.  Cordell and Makowicki combined on a block and an Albany error placed the Hawks back within 1, though 2 errors on their part compared to 1 on U of A put them back down by 2, until Cordell’s tip just in bounds.  Albany began to close the door of Cowdrey’s massive spike kill, and 3 straight Hartford attacks out of bounds, before Mostert served the ball just in bounds to the defense’s left corner for another point. When Albany gave up another point off an error it was 15-20.

Despite a good defensive play by Molyneux, Albany’s Casey Wright delivered a spike off the block later on in the rally.  Eckhardt knocked the ball over, and then ended a long rally with a blast.  A Wright block straight down at the net, and another successful attack won the set 15-25 for Albany, Albany 2, Hartford 0.

Set 3 began with the two sides battling to a 4-4 tie. Among the scoring for Hartford was Fullagar crushing an attack through the blockers, Lindsay Ford’s serve not being returned, and Macro blasting a heater through the defense. Cowdrey and Wright came up with a block and benefited from errors on the Hartford side.   Albany started to build a lead though off a kill despite good digs earlier from Molyneux and Ford. The Danes won a battle at the net and Gonzalez served an Ace off the defense and out of bounds.  White utilized yet another good set and hammered it in.  A time out was called, and Hartford screeched out of it with an Cordell smash and a Fullagar spike to the corner.  Stanley set the ball over the defense’s front line, but her team served into the net to keep the lead only at 2.  That was momentary as Mostert also did a misdirection spike where the ball flew not where she appeared to be aiming, and White and Cowdrey both had good saves before U of H spiked out of bounds.  Ford used a fake set to dink the ball in for a point, but Albany picked up two points off a Hawks attack out of bounds, and Wright smacking down an overpass. Despite a good defensive play by Etta, Albany still put the ball over for another point and their lead continued to expand.  Fullagar hammered a kill off the blockers, but Mostert responded. A time out was called at the 9-15 mark.

The Great Danes gave one up on a serve out of bounds, but Wright spiked off a dig attempt.  Macro lead a charge back with a smash, and Makowicki and Cordell’s block helped, as did Etta’s dig, before another Makowicki block. A bobbled return ended the run at 13-17 and White struck again.  Albany gave up a point on an error, but Kamisha Kellam’s spike and Mostert’s kill off the blockers put them five away from winning it all.

Cordell crushed an attack, but a U of H error followed, and Mostert landed a mid court spike.  Fullagar didn’t let that stop her from two colossal smashes in a row.  Though the Hawks would serve into the net, and commit another attack error to bring the score to 17-24.  The Hawks snipers didn’t say silent and Fullagar and Macro both landed kills, but an attack error ended the set and match 19-25.  Albany 3, Hartford 0.

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