It was a case of déjà vu for the Stony Brook Volleyball team. Much like its start last year, Stony Brook went 1-2 in its opening weekend. This time, the team fell to Central Florida in three sets, defeated Stetson University in straight sets and lost to Kent State 3-1 at the Holiday Inn Orlando East/UCF Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
The Knights shut out the Seawolves in their season opener on Aug. 26 and the Seawolves’ inexperience showed. Stony Brook, which features only three upperclassmen on its roster, debuted all five of its freshmen.
Errors were abound for the Seawolves as they recorded 12 service errors, five receiving errors and two blocking errors. Seven of Stony Brook’s 12 service errors came from freshmen.
However, the sophomore duo of middle hitter McKyla Brooks and outside hitter Taylor Wilson shined for the Seawolves. The two combined for 17 kills, with Wilson hitting .500. Sophomore setter Morgan Kath added 30 assists on the match.
Junior Melann Amory made her career debut at libero, recording 13 digs. Also making their season debuts were redshirt sophomores Emily Costello and Abby Hickey. The two did not play the entirety of the 2015 season due to injuries.
While the freshmen struggled to adjust to college play in their first match, they looked more than ready for NCAA play later that day in Stony Brook’s 3-0 win over Stetson. Three freshmen outside hitters — Liz Pulver, Jordan Gels and Maria Poole — combined for 20 kills throughout three sets.
The Seawolves took advantage of poor defense from the Hatters. Stetson recorded only two team blocks overall.
Wilson again led the way for Stony Brook. The Indiana native had 10 kills on 14 attempts in the Seawolves’ first win of the season. Gels also made a statement with 13 digs.
But Stony Brook could not keep up its winning ways as it fell 3-1 to Kent State the next day. The match was volley heavy as the teams combined for 148 digs.
While the Seawolves did not put up much of an offensive battle, Poole led the way for Stony Brook with 10 kills. Kath nearly matched her first game performance with 29 assists. Gels showed consistency as well, with 11 digs on the day.
Up next for Stony Brook is a match against Long Island rival Hofstra. The two will play in Hempstead on Aug. 30 at 7 p.m.