After a pair of ugly sets early on, the Stony Brook Seawolves were unable to fully recover, losing 25-12, 25-19, 23-25, 27-25 to the Manhattan Jaspers in a Tuesday-night road bout at Draddy Gymnasium in Riverdale, New York. The loss drops SBU’s seasonal record to 1-3.
Senior outside hitter Kathy Fletcher and freshman setter Morgan Kath had strong games for Stony Brook. Fletcher was the team leader in kills and digs, tallying 14 and 11 in the two categories, respectively. Kath, who was recognized as America East Setter of the Week last week, had 36 assists and six service aces to pace the Seawolves.
Manhattan was led by junior outside hitter Milena Janjusevic, who had 14 kills and only one error in the match. The Serbia native also led the Jaspers in digs, recording 10 overall.
Errors marred the first two sets for the Seawolves, who had attack percentages of just .071 and .031 in the first and second set, respectively. The Jaspers dominated play, as Stony Brook was given more than it could handle from a Manhattan team that went 13-5 in the MAAC a season ago.
Right out of the gate, the Jaspers took a 7-1 first set lead, notching kills from four different players as they asserted themselves on the court from the outset. Stony Brook pulled within 12-9 in the opening frame, warranting a Manhattan timeout. After Manhattan regrouped, they pulled away from the Seawolves, going on a 10-1 run en route to an easy 1-0 set lead.
The second set was much of the same, as the visiting team struggled on the attack. The Seawolves had eight attacking errors in the second set, and the Jaspers capitalized. Manhattan freshman outside hitter Casey Monroe had four of her seven kills in the set, propelling her team to a dominant lead.
Stony Brook showed great resilience after trailing two sets, however. Late in the third set, with the score 23-18 in favor of Manhattan, the Seawolves rattled off seven consecutive points to force a fourth set. The run was punctuated by a set clinching ace from Kath, helping to seize momentum for Stony Brook.
The fourth set was perhaps the most competitive set throughout, as both teams fought hard. The Seawolves looked to force a fifth set, as the Jaspers attempted to subdue the momentum in Stony Brook’s favor. Freshman outside hitter McKyla Brooks had three of her 11 kills for the Seawolves in a back-and-forth set in which the score was tied a remarkable 13 times.
Sophomore outside hitter Melann Amory provided a kill that gave the Seawolves a set point opportunity at 24-23, but Manhattan fought it off. Three points later, the Jaspers prevailed, winning an exhilarating final set off of a Brooks attacking error, her only one of the night. Manhattan won the match, advancing its record to 4-1 early in the season.
Stony Brook welcomed back to the lineup senior middle blocker Stephanie McFadden, who was unable to play for the Seawolves in their opening weekend tournament at Penn State. McFadden had five kills in her return to action.
Stony Brook returns to the hardwood on Friday afternoon, as the Seawolves begin their three-match Fairfield Invitational tournament with a 1:30 p.m. game against Boston College. Boston College went 6-12 last season in a difficult ACC conference schedule.