Sunday’s match was a game of firsts for the Stony Brook volleyball team as they defeated the Binghamton Bearcats on the road on Oct. 6 to earn their second straight victory. The win was the Seawolves’ first in America East play as well as their first sweep of the year as the team’s record improves to 6-11 (1-1 AE), while the Bearcats continue to search for their first victory of any kind, falling to 0-15 (0-2 AE).
“From the start of the match we came in and executed the game plan, both from an offensive and defensive perspective,” head coach Kristin Belzung said in a press release. “Binghamton made some adjustments that made us uncomfortable in the third and we did a good job of identifying and adjusting rather than letting it stress us which I thought showed maturity and growth. We are excited for a championship rematch back home in Pritchard on Friday.”
Coming off their final non-conference match of the season at Columbia, Stony Brook controlled the momentum early with a first set performance that saw their best hitting percentage (.424) of the afternoon, a statistic bolstered by 16 kills and just two errors. On the other hand, Binghamton’s offense could not get off the ground, committing seven errors against only ten kills, resulting in a .103 hitting percentage.
The first set did not begin the best for the Seawolves, who went down 4-1, but it meant nothing as they went on multiple runs of five consecutive points and ultimately took the set 25-16. Senior outside hitter Liz Pulver recorded the final four Stony Brook kills; she finished with ten on the day and leads the team with 175.
Stony Brook never trailed in the second set, and opened up with an 18-9 lead. The Bearcats refused to go down easily, however, rolling off four in a row and taking advantage of Stony Brook’s errors to postpone defeat. Ultimately, two kills from senior outside hitter Maria Poole and a bad set by Binghamton senior outside hitter Victoria Keghlian gave Stony Brook the 25-18 win.
For a while, it looked as if the sweep was in jeopardy as Binghamton made improvements to their game plan in set three while Stony Brook exhibited sloppier play. Even still, the Seawolves never faced a deficit larger than three, which came after five straight Bearcats points. After Stony Brook called a timeout in an attempt to disrupt the run, the two teams went back and forth before the Seawolves ended the set on a 13-4 run to win the set 25-19 and the match in three.
Poole led all players with 12 kills while also recording a solo block and a block assist. For the match as a whole, the Seawolves hit .292 while the Bearcats hit .125. Stony Brook recorded 13 errors throughout the match, of which six came in the third set. While the two teams ended with a similar number of total attacks, the Seawolves’ 44 kills outpaced the Bearcats’ 31.
Stony Brook returns home for the first time in nearly a month when they take on the Albany Great Danes on Friday, Oct. 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the Pritchard Gymnasium.