The Stony Brook women’s volleyball team opened the season with an underwhelming 4-7 record, but the Seawolves have since gone on a six-match winning streak, including wins in their first two games of conference play. How has the team turned it around so well?
Well, the first thing has been roster depth. The depth of the volleyball program is remarkable compared with other colleges. You can never expect which player on the front line is going to lead the team in kills for a particular match. During the six-game streak, five different players have led or tied for the lead in kills for the team, including Kathy Fletcher, who had 18 and 17 kills in her first two conference games, respectively.
Nicole Vogel has been setting up the spikes beautifully, averaging a staggering 41.3 assists per match, en route to being named America East setter of the week for the third consecutive week.
Lo Hathaway has reached double-digits in digs in each of the six matches, including 24 and 27 dig performances against Manhattan and Western Michigan, respectively.
Secondly, much of the recent Seawolf volleyball success can just be attributed to the fact that five of the six wins have been in home matches. The crowds at Pritchard Gym provide the home squad with energy and can be a troublesome environment for the opposition.
Over the last two seasons, the Seawolves have played 15 home matches, posting a very impressive 13-2 record at home.
The third was their gauntlet of a preseason slate. Head Coach Coley Pawlikowski acknowledged how the team’s difficult preseason schedule—which featured matches against national powerhouses like Arkansas and SMU—helped prepare for the conference season.
“We structured a pretty intense preseason schedule for our kids,” she said after Friday’s win against UMBC. “The point was to teach them how to fight and take every point one at a time, and hopefully they keep it up going into conference play.”
The Seawolves will look to make it seven in a row when they start a three-game road trip in Fairfield, Conn. Tuesday night against Sacred Heart.