With the America East Championships on the horizon, Stony Brook Volleyball looked to get two road wins against conference rivals Albany and Binghamton this weekend. But the Great Danes and the Bearcats outlasted the Seawolves, with Stony Brook losing both games 3-2.
Stony Brook had the chance to avenge a home loss to Albany from just four weeks prior. Once again, the Seawolves pushed the Great Danes to five sets, but could not finish, with set totals of 22-25, 25-14, 25-19, 22-25, 12-15.
Although the Great Danes led for most of the first set, freshman middle hitter McKyla Brooks led a five-point run for the Seawolves to push them ahead 12-10. After going up 19-16, Stony Brook watched as Albany junior outside hitter Shannon Hurley scored three consecutive kills to tie the game up.
Stony Brook fought back to tie the set at 22 after Brooks and sophomore middle blocker Cydney Bowman blocked Hurley. Albany then scored three consecutive times to win the set 25-22.
Despite watching her teammates for much of the season, Bowman was red hot when it mattered most. Right out of the gate, Bowman started the second set off with a kill to give the Seawolves a 1-0 lead. Her seven kills in the set helped give the Seawolves a dominating 25-14 win over the Great Danes.
Redshirt senior outside hitter Kathy Fletcher picked up where Bowman left off. Like Bowman, Fletcher had three consecutive kills late in the set that made Stony Brook’s lead an insurmountable one. Fletcher’s seven kills led the way for the Seawolves as they won the set 25-19.
Riding a wave of momentum, Stony Brook was looking to capitalize on the chance to defeat Albany on the road for the first time under head coach Coley Pawlikowski. However, Albany had other plans. After getting out to an early lead, Albany’s defense made sure Stony Brook could not surpass them as the Great Danes stuffed the Seawolves three times.
Stony Brook tried to comeback as they went on a three-point run to cut Albany’s lead down to 23-21. Fletcher committed a service error to give Albany the set 25-22.
In the fifth set, Stony Brook jumped out to an early 5-4 lead. However, the Great Danes went on a five-point run that the Seawolves could just not overcome. Albany won the set 15-12 and the match 3-2.
Bowman set new career highs with 16 kills on a .560 hitting percentage as well as recording 19 digs. Senior setter Nicole Vogel set a new career high in assists, with 63 on the night.
The team broke the record for most digs in program history with 122 on the night. Fletcher and sophomore outside hitter Melann Amory set career highs in digs with 22 and 17 respectively.
Stony Brook sought to end its weekend strong with a win against Binghamton, but fell 3-2 with set totals of 25-21, 17-25, 22-25, 25-16, 12-15.
Defense was huge early in the first set. Senior middle blocker Stephanie McFadden and Brooks came up with two assisted blocks to cut the Bearcats lead to 6-7. The Seawolves later went on a four-point run to give them a 24-20 lead and set them up for the 25-21 win.
The Seawolves could not use their momentum to their advantage, as the Bearcats jumped out to a 10-5 lead. Binghamton then went on a five-point run to further their lead to 23-16. While McFadden got a kill to try and spark a comeback, it was to no avail as Stony Brook fell 17-25.
While they would go on to lose the third set 22-25, the Seawolves showed that they had a little more fight in them. Stony Brook was never down by any more than five at any point in the set.
Freshman setter Morgan Kath saw her first action since Sept. 25 in the third set.
In the fourth, the Seawolves needed someone to step up. That person was Fletcher. Her three kills and an ace in the set gave Stony Brook that much needed spark as they won the fourth set 25-16 and forced a fifth.
Stony Brook could not overcome Binghamton’s defense in the fifth. The Bearcats had four blocks, which allowed them to win the fifth set 15-12 and the match 3-2.
Up next for the Seawolves is a two-game homestand. On Nov. 13, they face New Hampshire and on Nov. 15, Stony Brook will take on Hartford to close out the regular season.