The Seawolves were 4-7 going into three home games at the Seawolves Invite this past Friday. They were looking to dominate at home, but had three tough opponents: the Kennesaw State Owls (5-5), the Western Michigan Broncos (5-4) and the St. Francis-Brooklyn Terriers (2-11). First up for the Seawolves were the Kennesaw State Owls.
Kennesaw State was looking to make a statement in their first game.
They took the first two points of the first set. But the Seawolves had other plans.
After going on a six-point run to start the match, they did not let up.
In fact, they held the momentum for most of the game with their sporadic runs.
With a dominating three set shut out, going 25-18, 25-16 and 25-19, the Seawolves took their first game.
Nicole Vogel, junior setter, led the Seawolves with 35 helpers and 12 digs double double.
Kathy Fletcher, junior outside hitter, had 12 kills and libero Lo Hathaway had 12 digs.
After a day’s rest, the Seawolves had matches against Western Michigan and St. Francis-Brooklyn to look forward to.
Western Michigan had won both their matches against Kennesaw State and St. Francis-Brooklyn, and was looking to go undefeated at the Seawolves Invite.
The first set was highlighted by attack errors by Western Michigan, a costly factor in the set’s score.
Evann Slaughter, the senior middle blocker, led the second set with four kills.
After winning the first two sets 25-11 and 25-22, the Seawolves dropped the third, going 23-25. The Broncos won a heated fourth set 25-22, and it came down to a fifth set.
The Seawolves won 15-11, with senior middle blockers Slaughter and Taylor Gillie leading the way with 14 kills apiece.
Melissa Rigo, junior outside hitter, had a double double with 10 kills and 10 digs.
The third and final game for the Seawolves was against the St. Francis-Brooklyn Terriers.
The game was another three set sweep for the Seawolves, with the Seawolves going 25-14, 25-18 and 25-21.
While the Seawolves swept the Terriers, the game was not as close as the scores make it seem.
In the second and third sets, the Terriers nearly came back with several quick runs.
During the second set, the Terriers went on a critical four point run, which put the game at 13-8 Seawolves and a three point run which put the game at 16-12 again Seawolves.
In the third set, a late three-point push put the Terriers down by three at 18-21.
In the end, the Seawolves took it with an attack error.
But with great performances from Rigo and Gillie, who had seven kills apiece, the Seawolves won.
Gillie, whose performance was a huge factor in all of the Seawolves’ wins, won the MVP award at the Seawolves Invite.
Rigo had this to say about her team’s performance throughout the day, “(the Seawolves) played a pretty hard fought match, going five with Western Michigan, and we didn’t back down. The fact that we were home, we didn’t want to lose in our home gym. That’s what really kept us going this morning. I thought, all around, even in tonight’s game, it was 16 strong, and it was a team effort.”
Coach Coley Pawlikowski said, “We came out hard and battled with Western Michigan, which was really awesome to see. It was a great team win for us.”
When asked about her team’s performance, Pawlikowki said, “I think, overall, we really spread out our offense. All of our attackers were strong today.”
Next up on the schedule for the Seawolves is a game at Hartford on Sept. 26. After that, the Seawolves have two games at home, facing Manhattan on Oct. 1 and UMBC on Oct. 3, all working towards the America East Championships.