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Daemen falls in NCAA Regional Final 3-2 to American International

Posted at 8:17 PM, Dec 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-03 23:31:38-05

The Daemen volleyball team's historic season came to an end Saturday night with a 3-2 loss to #4 seed American International 21-25, 15-25, 28-26, 25-20, 9-15.

With the win, AIC advances to the DII NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  Daemen, making its first appearance in the DII tournament, ends the year with a 25-8 overall record.

"Nobody expected us to come this far and we made the Sweet 16 and we had these huge opportunities," senior Amber Drzymala said after the match.  "It's cool to say we were all a part of this big name for Daemen."

"It's been a really special year. We've done so much and accomplished so much really in our second year of officially being Division II," Head Coach Stephanie Albano added.  "It didn't end the way we wanted it to, but we took steps in the right direction and got to the Sweet 16. We can't hang our heads on this season."

After dropping the first two sets, the Wildcats roared back, taking sets three and four to force a winner take all fifth and final set.

"Once we lost the first two sets, we had nothing to lose at that point. It was either go all out right now or just regret the way you played the rest of (the game)" Drzymala said.  "It was the heart, effort and want."

But, in the fifth set, the Wildcats luck would run out.

The Yellow Jackets opened on a 4-0 run and never looked back, cruising to a 15-9 win to advance to the quarterfinals.

After hitting .216 and .368 respectively in the third and fourth sets, Daemen hit -.105 and only had four kills.

"I think the biggest takeaway was that it was a great journey and we did so much and worked so hard," Albano said.  "I'm really proud of where we got to."