Middle blocker McKyla Brooks, setter Morgan Kath and outside hitter Taylor Wilson are the most senior starters for Stony Brook’s volleyball team. They are all sophomores.
Youthful errors were on display Friday afternoon, as Stony Brook was swept by both Rhode Island and Notre Dame during its opening double-header of the Art Carmichael Invitational.
Playing from behind the near entirety of their first two sets against the Rams — which ended 25-27 and 21-25 — the Seawolves established a commanding 17-11 lead following back-to-back kills via Wilson and freshman outside hitter LeAnne Sakowicz in the third set.
But Rhode Island would counter with a four-point run, slashing Stony Brook’s lead to two points.
After Stony Brook obtained service control following a Rhode Island attack error, Rams junior outside hitter Kylee Wolfe would spark yet another four-point Rhode Island run with a timely kill. Wolfe led all players in the match with 13 kills on 30 attempts.
Relinquishing their lead, Stony Brook would soon drop their third and final set by a score of 26-24.
In the 6-1 rotation, Kath fed 28 assists, while freshman outside hitter Jordan Gels notched a team-leading nine kills.
Freshman opposite-side hitter Maria Poole led her team with 10 digs.
Posting an abysmal .096 kill percentage, Stony Brook’s second match against Notre Dame was hardly competitive.
The Seawolves lost each set by an increasing margin, falling 17-25, 14-25 and 12-25.
Following an early two-point Notre Dame lead, freshman rightside hitter Maria Poole buried a kill to put her team within one in the third set.
Notre Dame would respond with a kill of their own from sophomore outside hitter Rebecca Nunge. Following an attack error by Poole and a setting error from libero junior Melann Amory, the Fighting Irish expounded on their momentum with a kill and service ace.
Up 7-1, the match belonged entirely to Notre Dame, which eventually won the final set by 13 points.
Looking less polished than their counterparts, Stony Brook recorded 17 errors to Notre Dame’s eight.
Brooks led her team with seven kills and seven points in the match. Kath recorded 22 assists and had a serving ace.
Amory showed the greatest defensive poise, tallying 11 digs.
Poole saw the most success on the service line Friday night, as she rifled four aces between the two games.
Stony Brook’s volleyball team was bested in five sets (19-25, 25-18, 25-21, 19-25, 7-15) by San Diego State in its third and final game of the Art Carmichael Invitational in Kingston, Rhode Island. With the loss, the Seawolves fell to 2-9 on the season.
Stony Brook has lost its last seven five-set games, with their last win coming against Western Michigan in September of 2015.
With both teams limiting their errors and posting a relatively high hitting percentage, the match was an offensive showdown.
After the two teams alternated set wins, San Diego State jumped out to an early 6-0 fifth set lead. With fifth sets being the first to 15, rather than 25, the Seawolves’ window opportunity was quickly collapsing.
After back-to-back kills from Brooks and freshman outside hitter Liz Pulver, the Seawolves inched back to within four, with the score now 9-5.
But the Aztecs would soon fire off a four point run, establishing a 14-6 lead.
While a match point attack error allowed Stony Brook a prayer at a miracle eight point rally, San Diego State solidified their win with a kill from junior outside hitter Alexis Cage.
Pulver had the game of her early career, posting a game-high 15 kills, which led her team.
Pulver was the most efficient Seawolf. With no errors, she tallied nine kills on 17 attempts, good for a .529 hit percentage.
Sakowicz got the starting nod as setter and recorded a career-high 27 assists.
The Seawolves kick off a three game homestand on Friday at 7:30 p.m. when they host American University at Pritchard Gymnasium.