The Stony Brook women’s volleyball team extended its winning streak to six straight matches, picking up a 3-1 four-set victory over Hartford on Friday night. This game was the Seawolves’ first win in America East Conference play this season.
“I think this environment here tonight, having this crowd [behind us] was a big push for this group,” head coach Kristin Belzung said. “Every time you get into conference play, it doesn’t matter what league you’re in, it is a dogfight no matter who you’re playing. So to come out with a win is a big deal. Every win is a big deal.”
After dominating the first set 25-14 and being up 12-7, Stony Brook looked to go up two sets. A Hartford timeout allowed the Hawks to regain their composure and tie the match before winning the set 25-22.
During intermission, Belzung spoke to the team on how to regain momentum in the match.
“We just talked about how to navigate the block a little bit,” Belzung said. “Their block was more significant in the second set, and I thought they were more insistent in the second set over the first. We allowed our defense to actually play for us rather than swing for a kill on every single shot.”
The talk sparked a fire for the team, as the Seawolves went on an 11-1 run and finished by scoring six straight to take set three and the 2-1 lead.
In the fourth set, both teams played evenly by countering each other. After tying 14 times within the set, Stony Brook looked to end the game being up 26-25. After a back-and-forth serve, senior middle blocker Cydney Bowman’s 12th kill of the game sealed the deal for the Seawolves.
“I was ready to end it,” Bowman said. “I was ready to put it away, we were going back and forth. It was 26-25 and I was ready to put the nail in the coffin.”
After the game, Belzung spoke about Bowman, who was named the America East Player of the Week on Tuesday.
“She is a high IQ kid, she is able to score, and she sees the court very well,” Belzung said. “She’s been able to score on situations I don’t think she was able to score on previously because she was just swinging away, and now she’s incorporating some shots into her game. She knows the game really well, she comes to play.”
The win improves Stony Brook’s overall record to 10-6 and 1-0 in conference play. The team will look to tie their winning-streak record of seven games in a conference game against UMBC on Sunday, Oct. 1 at Pritchard Gymnasium.