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NCAA Tourneys End for Field Hockey, Women's Soccer; Women's Basketball Opens — Tops West Coast Foe

Imani Tate led the Great Danes with 24 points against Pepperdine.

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 15, 2015) -- It was a historic weekend for UAlbany sports teams as women’s soccer capped their best season Division I history Friday night, losing to Penn State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Meanwhile the women's basketball team opened their campaign with a 64-49 victory over visiting Pepperdine on Sunday. In between, the men's basketball squad provided a tough challenge for No. 2 Kentucky before falling 78-65 at Rupp Arena; the women's volleyball team earned a share of the America East regular season title with a 3-0 sweep at UMass Lowell; and the No. 8 field hockey team lost a close contest No. 9 Boston College in Storrs, Conn.

UAlbany (11-9-1) set new marks in the 2015 season for women's soccer with the program’s first-ever America East Championship victory, first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division I Tournament, the highest-ever seeding in the America East Tournament at two and the most amount of wins, 11, in a Division I season. The Great Danes fell to Penn State (17-3-2), a 1-seed in the tournament, in a night with strong winds and occasional snow at Jeffery Field.

In its loss at Kentucky on Friday night, UAlbany played in front of a program-record crowd on the road, totaling 22,080 at Rupp Arena. The Purple & Gold’s previous single-game high crowd was 19,225, set at North Carolina on Dec. 30, 2009. The Great Danes face Boston University Monday night at 7 p.m. as part of the Naismith Hall of Fame Classic, before their home opener against Colgate at SEFCU Arena on Thursday, November 19 at 7 p.m.

UAlbany junior Shelby Belak
UAlbany set new marks in the 2015 season with the program’s first-ever America East Championship victor and the most amount of wins, 11, in a Division I season.

Also on Friday night, the volleyball team earned a share of its ninth America East regular season title with its road sweep (25-19, 25-13, 25-18) of UMass Lowell. UAlbany (16-8, 11-1 AE) has won 10 matches in a row and secures a part of the America East regular season title for the first time since 2012. The women earned the No. 2 seed for the America East tournament, which will be held at the home of No. 1 seed New Hampshire starting on Friday, Nov. 20. UAlbany faces No. 3 Stony Brook in the semifinals at 4 p.m.

After succumbing to an early 2-0 deficit, the field hockey team (19-3) battled back but couldn’t overcome No. 9 Boston College (13-8) in the NCAA First Round on Saturday afternoon. The Great Danes fell 2-1 to the Eagles, concluding the 2015 season with a record of 19-3. Despite failing to return to the Final Four as they did a year ago, the Great Danes still captured their fifth America East title in the last eight years with a lineup that boasts defending NFHCA National Player of the Year Paula Heuser, a junior at UAlbany.

Saturday night the football team honored the nation's veterans and the squad's 10 seniors in its final home game of the season, a 24-14 defeat to New Hampshire at Casey Stadium.

Finally, the women's basketball team completed its third consecutive victory in season openers as Imani Tate and Shereesha Richards each scored more than 20 points as the greaet Danes dominated Pepperdine 16-4 in the final quarter to take the 64-49 victory to open the season at the SEFCU Arena. In the first year of the four-quarter format, UAlbany (1-0) had its best play over Pepperdine (0-2) in the first quarter, outscoring the Waves 17-6, and the fourth, outscoring its opponent 16-4.

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