Stony Brook Volleyball was unable to come away with a victory against St. John’s on Tuesday, Sept. 4, losing its home opener in four sets.
“It was great to be back in front of our home crowd tonight,” head coach Kristin Belzung said in a press release. “We had spurts of great defensive effort that led to some transition opportunities which I thought stressed out St. John’s. Unfortunately, our serve receive passing broke down and didn’t allow us to get into any kind of rhythm in the third and fourth sets.”
St. John’s sophomore middle blocker Kayley Wood rocketed a kill through the Stony Brook defense, starting a five-point run to give her team a 9-4 lead and force an early Stony Brook timeout in the opening set. Wood led the Red Storm with 5.5 points in the set as the team continued their offensive onslaught, taking the first set 25-18. Wood held her own against the veteran Stony Brook frontcourt and led the match with 14 kills and 5 blocks.
The teams played a tighter second set until Stony Brook took a 10-7 lead following consecutive kills from junior outside hitter Liz Pulver and a block from senior middle blocker McKyla Brooks. Graduate outside hitter Emily Costello and junior middle blocker Kendra Harlow’s block broke a 12-12 tie and gave the Seawolves a lead they would not relinquish, going on to win the set 25-19.
Stony Brook seemed to have won the third set after exploding to a 12-4 lead and forcing St. John’s to use both of its timeouts. The Red Storm slowly ate away at the lead and forced the Seawolves to call a timeout with a 19-15 lead. Any momentum the Stony Brook offense had appeared lost following the stoppage as St. John’s capitalized on a Pulver attack error and a service ace which was juggled out of play by Costello to make the score 21-19.
Wood led an enkindled Red Storm offense coming out of a second Seawolves timeout and tied the game at 22. An attack error by Pulver gave St. John’s the lead for good as the team completed a five-point run to take the set 25-22.
The Red Storm took a commanding 11-4 lead to begin the fourth set, carrying the momentum earned after the successful comeback. Stony Brook attempted a final comeback run off of four consecutive St. John’s errors, but the Red Storm retained their lead, winning the set 25-19 and the match 3-1.
Stony Brook will travel to Pullman, Washington this weekend to play in the Washington State Tournament, the team’s final scheduled road tournament. The Seawolves will begin play against Illinois State on Friday, Sept. 7 at 10 a.m.