An inability to close out sets plagued the Stony Brook Volleyball team on Tuesday night, as Hofstra won in sweeping fashion, 25-19, 27-25, 25-21.
After the Pride took the opening set comfortably — bolstered by a 8-1 run early in the frame — the Seawolves had an opportunity to tie things up late in Set 2.
Three straight kills — from sophomore outside hitter Taylor Wilson, freshman outside hitter Jordan Gels, then Wilson again — gave Stony Brook a 20-15 lead in the second set.
The Pride went on a 12-5 run to steal the set and take a 2-0 halftime lead. The Seawolves committed four attack errors during the stretch and were unable to capitalize on a set point opportunity at 24-23. Hofstra senior outside hitter Veronika Kostova fended off the chance with a kill. Four points later, freshman right-side hitter Laura Masciullo earned a kill of her own to end the game.
The Seawolves had opportunities to win the third set as well, taking an 18-17 lead late in the frame. The Pride rattled off four straight points in response to go up 21-18. Stony Brook freshman outside hitter Liz Pulver had a kill to get her team within 22-21, but Hofstra answered with the last three points of the match.
Sophomore middle blocker McKyla Brooks had a career-high eight blocks in the three-set match, adding to her more-typical eight-kill statline. Becoming an imposing blocker has been a focus for Brooks, the 2015 America East Rookie of the Year, who, at only 5-foot-8, has to depend on her athleticism rather than her height to be a net presence.
Junior libero Melann Amory, who has transitioned to a defensive role this season after being a hitter in her first two seasons at Stony Brook, had 12 digs for the Seawolves, a team high.
While defense had little issue in the match, the Stony Brook offense was underwhelming against its cross-island rivals. The Seawolves hit only .131 in the match, including .000 in the third set, meaning that they had an equal number of kills and errors in the set (10).
Stony Brook freshman outside hitter Maria Poole, a highly-touted 6-foot-2 Norwegian rookie, struggled in the match, only recording two kills on 13 total attacks, with four service errors as well.
The contest took place at Hofstra’s David S. Mack Fitness Center, instead of the team’s usual home court, the similarly-named David S. Mack Physical Education Center. The regular Hofstra volleyball court is currently under temporary renovations to accommodate the first 2016 United States Presidential Debate, to be held on the campus Sept. 26.
Stony Brook will participate in its second weekend tournament beginning this Friday in Louisville, Kentucky. The team’s three opponents will be Southeast Conference foe Auburn, nationally-ranked host No. 21 Louisville and Santa Clara, who was two spots out from being ranked in the latest AVCA Coaches’ Poll.