Junior middle blocker McKyla Brooks sets up to spike the ball in a game against Hofstra on Sept. 5. Brooks gave the final kill of the second set. ERIC SCHMID/THE STATESMAN

The Stony Brook women’s volleyball team put on a dominant display at its last invitational tournament of the season, earning wins in each of its three matches at Colgate University. The Seawolves improved to 8-6 on the season, winning matches with La Salle, Colgate and Cornell in four sets a piece.  

Game One: Stony Brook 3, La Salle 1

Stony Brook was looking to keep its winning ways alive coming off a win last weekend against Manhattan College. Their first opponent, the La Salle Explorers, came into the tournament with a 9-3 record and continued their success in the first set, overcoming a six-point run by the Seawolves to take a 25-21 win.

La Salle’s lead did not last long, however, as Stony Brook won the next three sets 25-23, 25-13 and 25-20 to secure the match victory. Junior middle blocker McKyla Brooks delivered the final kill of the close second set, capitalizing on an attacking error. The third set proved much less contested for Stony Brook who cruised to victory with a string of three consecutive blocks.

With the chance to put their first match in the win column, the Seawolves went on a five-point run, giving themselves a lead that never dropped below four points for the remainder of the game. Despite their best efforts and a four-point run in the late stages of the set, the Explorers could not battle back, giving Stony Brook its first match victory of the weekend.

Game Two: Stony Brook 3, Colgate 1

Friday night, in their second match of the tournament, the Seawolves took on the hosting Colgate Raiders who were in action for the first time this weekend. On the heels of its victory earlier in the day, Stony Brook surged to a convincing 25-22 win in the first set, never surrendering an early 5-4 lead.

The next game told a different story, as the hometown Raiders dominated the early volleys and earned a 19-6 lead. Despite an impressive 7-2 run, the Seawolves were unable to make up lost ground and dropped the second set by a score of 25-16.

Level of play evened out in the third set with neither team taking a lead greater than three points until Stony Brook’s 15-12 advantage off a serve from redshirt-junior outside hitter Emily Costello. Trailing 22-16, the Raiders powered back and drew within three, prompting a Seawolves timeout. The break proved helpful as senior middle blocker Cydney Bowman got the set-winning kill and gave Stony Brook a 2-1 match lead.

The fourth set was reminiscent of the first, with Stony Brook dominating the majority of the game and never trailing on its way to a 25-21 set victory and a 3-1 match win.

Game Three: Stony Brook 3, Cornell 1

The Seawolves closed out the tournament against the Cornell Big Red on Saturday afternoon. The match followed a similar blueprint to that of the La Salle match. After dropping a back-and-forth first set by a final score of 26-28, Stony Brook earned wins in each of the next three sets to take the match (25-14, 25-18, 25-22).

The Seawolves grabbed a lead on the opening serve in the second set which they would never concede. Sophomore outside hitter Jordan Gels earned the winning kill that sent Stony Brook to the third set tied 1-1. The Big Red fought in the early stages of the third with a 6-1 run, but the Seawolves showed resilience, answering with their own run that tied the game 7-7. Aside from a few close moments, they stayed in control the remainder of the game and looked to close the match out in four.

Stony Brook did just that in its final set of the tournament, closing out Cornell in a close game off the strength of Brooks’ kill in the last volley to secure the weekend sweep.

The Seawolves’ next match will be on Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. when they face the St. John’s University Red Storm with a chance to extend their winning streak to five.

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