The Stony Brook volleyball team marched into Lowell, Massachusetts on Friday, Sept. 28 riding the high of a three-game winning streak, and left having added to their remarkable stretch of on-field dominance.
“I’m proud of our group for starting the weekend off well,” head coach Kristin Belzung said in a press release. “A lot of our kills came on transition opportunities which is a credit to our block being disciplined and our backcourt for controlling digs to keep us in system. I also thought we served well which we hope to continue for a tough match at New Hampshire on Sunday to complete the weekend.”
Stony Brook jumped off to a quick 4-0 lead in the first set, even accumulating for eight unanswered points to go up 14-4. The UMass Lowell River Hawks struggled to crack double digits, only doing so when it was already too late to make any meaningful impact. The Seawolves took the first set 25-10, with River Hawks junior outside hitter Madi Bell’s attack error as the final point. Stony Brook’s hitting percentage was .500 in the set, while UMass Lowell hit an even .000. Graduate outside hitter Emily Costello led all players with a set-high five kills.
The only lead that UMass Lowell had the entire night came when a service ace from freshman libero Aleyna Kennel gave them a 1-0 lead to start off the second set. The River Hawks eventually committed nine attack errors, mustering a hitting percentage of -.107 in the set. Stony Brook won 25-11, with the final three points all being UMass Lowell attack errors.
In the third set, Stony Brook got on the board quickly, scoring the first eight points to put UMass Lowell deep in a hole, which they could not come back from. The River Hawks played best to close the game, as this was the only set where their hitting percentage (.071) was above zero. With the set and match point on the line, UMass Lowell would not go down easily, scoring four straight points to turn a 24-13 deficit to a 24-17 deficit. In the end, a kill from junior middle blocker Kendra Harlow ended the match with a 3-0 Seawolves victory.
Three Stony Brook players tied for the game lead in kills: Costello, senior middle blocker McKyla Brooks, and junior outside hitter Maria Poole each had eight. Brooks’ career kill total increased to 1,064. The Seawolves’ numbers dominated the River Hawks in nearly every category, most notably in hitting percentage (.432 to .000), attack errors (5 to 26), and blocks (10.0 to 0.0). The River Hawks’ best performance of the night came from Bell, who led her team with seven kills and seven points; she also led the game with eight errors.
For the fourth straight game, Stony Brook has swept its opponent in three sets as they improve their record to 8-8 overall and 2-0 in America East conference play. The team has now won 12 straight sets, and looks to continue that streak on Sunday, Sept. 30, as it travels to Durham, New Hampshire to take on the New Hampshire Wildcats, who have an overall record of 6-10 and a 2-0 conference record.