A night that began honoring the women’s volleyball team’s four seniors—outside hitter Kathy Fletcher, middle blocker Stephanie McFadden, libero Lo Hathaway and setter Nicole Vogel—ended with a decisive victory for the Seawolves.
Stony Brook defeated Delaware State on Friday in straight sets in front of an excited Pritchard Gymnasium crowd, 25-8, 25-12, 25-13.
Fletcher and McFadden combined for 26 kills and controlled the pace of the match in a record-breaking night for the Seawolves. The team hit .558 against the Hornets, breaking its previous record of .481 set in last year’s match against the same opponent.
The seniors showed their leadership the whole way, in their last non-conference home match.
“We’re really fortunate. We have four great seniors on and off the court,” Stony Brook head coach Coley Pawlikowski said. “They all have an intricate role in our program and they have done a really good job holding the bar, setting the bar, and learning how to raise the bar.”
Another key senior who contributed was Vogel, helping her teammates out with 42 assists and five digs while the fourth of the quartet, Hathaway, added seven digs and four assists.
Three huge kills in a row in the first set from Fletcher put the Seawolves up 14-4 and prompted Delaware State to call a timeout to talk things over.
The Hornets scored a couple points in a row, but for the most part it was all Stony Brook, winning the set 25-8.
The energy was still there in the second set for the Seawolves, fueling a 6-1 lead and causing Delaware State to call its second timeout of the match.
The Hornets managed to turn it around and cut the Seawolves’ lead to 11-8.
Another powerful run spearheaded by Fletcher and McFadden put the set out of reach as the Seawolves took a commanding 18-9 lead and closed out the set, 25-12.
The beginning of the third set showed some fight from Delaware State as the Hornets took an early lead, but Stony Brook responded by going ahead and the team never looked back.
Midway through the set, a kill from deep in the back row by Fletcher wowed the crowd and gave the Seawolves a 13-5 lead.
From there on out, it was just a matter of finishing up the match, Stony Brook sealing the deal, 25-13.
Stony Brook has swept seven of its last nine opponents.
Fletcher believes the team can carry this momentum throughout the rest of America East play.
“I think we definitely can continue this and I think a lot of it is us playing as a team,” Fletcher said. “As long as we play as a team and play for each other, we will have a great chance to win.”
The Seawolves will look to continue their hot streak Sunday, as they take on conference opponent UMBC at 1 p.m. in Maryland.