The Stony Brook women’s volleyball team swept conference rival UMBC 3-0 to pick up its seventh consecutive win and second sweep of the winning streak this Sunday. With the victory, Stony Brook has now won seven matches in a row for the first time since 2014.
“I’m proud of the way the girls came out,” head coach Kristin Belzung said. “UMBC is a very disciplined team and the girls took exactly what we told them in scout and they executed it on the court.”
The early part of the first set was a back-and-forth battle between both teams, until a kill from senior middle blocker Cydney Bowman ignited a five-point run for the Seawolves, who pulled away and won the set 25-15. The Seawolves displayed a decent offensive effort, with 15 kills on 37 attempts.
The second set did not start so smoothly for Stony Brook, as UMBC’s defense was able to dig balls and execute well. UMBC opened the set with a 7-2 rally, which led Belzung to call a timeout and let her team regroup.
“UMBC got a little more in system and started to dig balls, we were surprised that balls that were scoring in first set weren’t scoring in second set,” Belzung said. “We talked about probing the defense, staying on attack, and continuing to dig balls until we were able to earn the point.”
Both teams traded points after the timeout, as the Seawolves scored three straight following the timeout to keep the set within two. The Retrievers then picked up a kill, which brought the score to 10-7. The Seawolves eventually came back, with the help of junior middle blocker McKyla Brooks, who had three straight points, including two aces in a row. She finished the set with three aces and a pair of kills.
The Seawolves finished the final part of the set strong and focused, as a block from redshirt junior outside hitter Emily Costello sealed the set win for the team.
Stony Brook continued to rally into the third set, as they opened with a run of five straight points. UMBC’s defense could not keep up with Stony Brook’s offense. Costello played well in the final set, as she helped fuel the offensive effort with a couple hits, including one to extend the lead to 15-8. Stony Brook eventually took the set with a score of 25-19, sealing
Stony Brook finished off the match with a kill from Cydney Bowman. Last week’s America East Conference Player of the Week had nine kills today, the fourth straight game she has had eight or more kills.
“We really focused on the future and we actually haven’t really kept track of it, we’re just going to try and keep it on a roll.” Bowman said following the win. “It means a lot and we’re going to try keep our foot on the gas pedal.”
Stony Brook now improves its record of 11-6, including two conference wins. The team will look to extend its winning streak against New Hampshire, who are tied with Stony Brook for first place in the America East Conference. The match will take place at Durham, New Hampshire at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6.