The Stony Brook Seawolves hosted the Providence Friars this Friday night, and there was no lack of excitement, as the Seawolves won the match 3-1, with each set decided by at most 3 points.
The Seawolves dropped the first set 25-23, with their rally late in the set falling flat at the very end. The team was led by a solid overall effort from Hannah Dolan, who notched a kill and ace while adding 13 assists to what seems to be her endless total of assists this year, while Kaitlin Costello put up a fantastic 9 kills. However, the Seawolves were done in by their overall sloppy play, with 4 errors and a .382 hitting percentage putting them in a hole against the Friars who played errorless ball the first set.
The Seawolves bounced back in the second set 25-22, led by an absolutely stifling team defense and sloppy team play by Providence. The Friars dropped down to hitting .118 after hitting .452 the first set, with nearly as many errors (8) as kills (12). Melissa Rigo joined Costello by adding 6 kills in the set, and both Costello and Rigo had double digit kills heading into the third set.
The third set was as close as the other two, with Stony Brook holding off a late set rally by the Friars to win 25-23. The defense was again the main reason for the Seawolf win, along with the ridiculously good play of Costello. The Seawolves held the Friars to .161 hitting, even with less errors from Providence. Stony Brook blocked 3 shots, and only allowed the Friars to convert 10 kills on 31 attempts. Costello lead the offensive charge, adding 6 kills to her day’s total.
The final set was, quite fittingly, the closest set of a very close game, with the Seawolves pulling off the victory with a 30-28 win. The defense held stout again, limiting the Friars to hitting .140, and the offense was lead by a three headed attack of Costello, Rigo and McFadden. All three put up 5 kills or more, but Providence was able to force the Seawolves to play past 25 points. The two teams exchanged points in a tense end game, but a solid serve by freshman Cailyn Hart was able to put the team in position to set up a monster kill by Rigo.
The team had a number of solid performers. Rigo notched yet another double-double on the year, her 11th on the year, with 18 kills and 15 digs. Nicole Vogel had a surprising performance, leading the team for the first time with 34 assists, notching more in this game than she had all year. But the player of the game was undoubtedly Costello, who played absolutely out of her mind. She led the Seawolves’ offense, notching 22 kills, hitting .409, and made it a double-double with 13 digs.
“It feels great, but altogether it was a great team win. I couldn’t have done it without my team,” Costello said.
Coach Coley Pawlikowski also spoke on her team’s performance. “In the first game we were tight just across the board…they’re probably one of the best ball control teams we’ve seen so they’re in system a lot and we weren’t doing a great job of communicating at the net. In games 2, 3 and 4, we did a much better job identifying what their hitters were doing, what combinations were coming at us,” she said on the reason for the defensive turnaround.
“When we play as a team, and when we trust each other and we just play disciplined. We’re good. When we play frantic we struggle. Tonight we did a much better job of being consistent at being consistent,” coach Pawlikowski also said.
The Seawolves will host Hartford this Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Pritchard Gymnasium.