Stony Brook volleyball head coach Coley Pawlikowski stressed that her team needed to “take control” after a loss to Albany last Sunday.
The Seawolves did just that in their win against Hartford on Friday, where they took the match in straight sets. But even with the momentum, the team looked lost as they fell to New Hampshire the following day.
Sophomore outside hitter Melann Amory had a strong first set against Hartford with five kills for the Seawolves, outperforming her season average of 1.74 kills per set. She turned on the switch midway through the set and got back-to-back kills to give Stony Brook a 12-10 lead. Amory finished the set off for her team with a service ace, giving the Seawolves a 25-19 victory.
Hartford was not about to call it a day, however. Both teams battled as they tied the game 11 times. But freshman middle blocker Taylor Wilson kickstarted Stony Brook with two consecutive kills that started a four-point run and gave the Seawolves a 21-19 lead.
But the Seawolves could not maintain the lead. As they led 23-22, redshirt senior outside hitter Kathy Fletcher gave up an attack error that tied it all up at 23. Hartford’s crowd was raucous as the Hawks had the momentum on their side.
Fletcher notched a kill. Hartford answered with a kill of its own. Senior middle blocker Stephanie McFadden responded with a kill. That gave the Seawolves set point and Hartford answered with an attack error to give Stony Brook the set, 26-24.
After winning the second set, Stony Brook was riding a wave of momentum. After starting it behind, down a 2-1 deficit, the Seawolves rallied back and never let the Hawks take another lead. McFadden sealed the deal on the set with two consecutive aces, giving her four on the game, and gave Stony Brook the set 25-14, as well as the match 3-0.
Senior setter Nicole Vogel led the charge for the Seawolves. She had a double-double with 39 assists and 12 digs. Vogel also pitched in two kills.
While the team was in control against Hartford, the opposite was true against New Hampshire. Hoping to break the Wildcats’ five-game winning streak against conference opponents this season, the Seawolves jumped right out of the gate with a 6-3 lead. But New Hampshire stayed in it to take the lead 14-13 and go on a subsequent five-point run.
Fletcher tried to jumpstart the team, but her two kills following New Hampshire’s run did little as the Wildcats took the first set 25-16.
The second set started off much like the first, with Stony Brook jumping out to a 6-3 lead with two kills from Fletcher. But like the first, the Wildcats were hanging in there, slowly working their way to a 10-9 lead. New Hampshire went on a four-point run and did not look back as the team took the set, 25-19.
With a 2-0 lead for the match, the Wildcats just had to keep on doing what they had been doing. The Seawolves offered no resistance.
Right out of the gate, New Hampshire went up 3-0. After a service error that put the Seawolves on the board, the Wildcats scored another three points and were up 6-1. Stony Brook could do little as New Hampshire kept its foot on the gas pedal and took the set 25-13, and the match 3-0.
Stony Brook could not get around New Hampshire’s defense. The Wildcats stuffed the Seawolves seven times and forced 24 attack errors. No Stony Brook player had more than eight kills for the match.
Up next, the Seawolves will look to score a win against Sacred Heart on Tuesday, Oct. 20. Stony Brook continues non-conference play against Delaware State on Friday, Oct. 23.