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Football and Volleyball Head to NCAA Postseason: Reinhardt Concludes Historic Campaign

Karl Mofor, at left, scored three touchdowns and led UAlbany to victory at Stony Brook; at right, Volleyball celebrates its America East Championship victory in University Gym. (Photos by Bill Ziskin)

ALBANY, N.Y. (Nov. 26, 2019) — 2011 was a great year for UAlbany football and volleyball. Until 2019, both teams hadn’t seen the like of it.

That all changed on Saturday.

Great Dane football capped off its second place Colonial Athletic Conference season with a 31-26 victory at Stony Brook, and the win vaulted them into the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Division I championships, where they host an opening round game with Central Connecticut State this Saturday at 1 p.m. on Bob Ford Field at Casey Stadium. (Tickets available here.)

It was the first time football has made the postseason since 2011.

Volleyball, meanwhile, waits for Dec. 1 to hear its opponent and location in the first round of the NCAA Volleyball Tournament, after the Great Danes won their sixth America East volleyball championship — but first since 2011 — beating Hartford in a five-set come-from-behind thriller Saturday at University Gym.

Hannah Reinhardt in the NCAA Championships

Hannah Reinhardt runs in the Division I championship race in Terre Haute on Saturday. (Photo by Jay Bendlin)

Also on Saturday, the greatest UAlbany cross country season by a female athlete came to a conclusion in Terre Haute, Ind., where senior Hannah Reinhardt, winner of the NCAA Regional and America East championships and UAlbany’s R.K. Munsey UAlbany Invitational, finished 99th out of 254 runners in the 6,000 meter-long Division I race.

“Hannah did give all she had running with the top 30 for 4,000 meters,” said Roberto Vives, director of men’s and women’s track & field and cross country. “Her first NCAA experience will bode well for her moving into the indoor and outdoor seasons. We are very proud of her.”

That feeling was echoed by Reinhart’s Cross Country Coach, Matt Jones, who praised her emergence as an elite runner due to adherence to proper training, nutrition, sleep and recovery. “Hannah truly was our team leader by example,” said Jones. “Her development over these four years has been exciting to witness, and it is a pleasure to be her coach.”

Football’s coach, Greg Gattuso, said his Great Danes “are thrilled to say the least” at making the post season. “We earned this,” he said. “The players have been really good and played really well all year. We have learned how to win some close games and road games and that got us here. “We have a tough opponent in Central Connecticut State but we will be ready to go. We are excited and the team is ready.”

UAlbany raced to a 24-0 lead and then held off the Seawolves in the annual rivalry game between the two SUNY University Centers. “We hung in there and kept playing,” said Gattuso. “That’s a really good win for us on the road against a quality opponent.”

In the game, Juwan Green finished with six catches for 61 yards and a touchdown and broke UAlbany’s single-season record for receptions, with 71. Running back Karl Mofor had his best-ever game as a Great Dane, carrying 31 times for a career-high 176 yards and three touchdowns. UAlbany’s defense shone with five sacks, 11 tackles for loss, a fumble recovery and an interception.

Volleyball Head Coach Josh Pickard expressed “excitement for our team and staff” after the AE championship victory. Akuabata Okenwa, named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, led the way with 16 kills and three block assists. Danielle Tedesco added 11 kills, two solo blocks, two service aces and five block assists, and Charlotte Macken had 11 digs. All three were named to the All-Championship Team honors.

“It was great to see Akua, Danielle and Charlotte recognized for the hard work they have put in all year,” said Pickard. “We talked all year about all 19 of us working towards a common goal, and it all came together tonight.”

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