Sophomore outside hitter Leoni Kunz playing in a game against St. John’s on Sept. 14. Kunz achieved 11 kills in the St. John’s game, making it the seventh time this year she reached double digit kills. KATHERINE PROCACCI/THE STATESMAN

It was a familiar sight for the Stony Brook volleyball team: sophomore outside hitter Leoni Kunz reached double-digit kills for the seventh time this year, but the Seawolves (4-7) fell into an early hole and lost 3-1 to the St. John’s Red Storm at home on Sept. 14.

Four of Kunz’s 11 kills came in the second set, where her six-point service run to break a 10-10 tie led the Seawolves to a 25-19 set win. But Stony Brook trailed for almost the entirety of the third and fourth sets and walked away with its third loss in five games. Sophomore outside hitter Lauren Schmitz was quietly efficient with six kills on a career-best .333 hitting percentage.

The Seawolves committed 28 errors, only three more than St. John’s (7-4), but head coach Kristin Belzung said that contributed to the loss.

“I’m pretty disappointed in our effort out of the gate tonight,” Belzung said in a postgame press release. “St. John’s is a good team and caused us some stress from a length perspective, but we were too high-error as attackers.”


Those errors began almost immediately and gave St. John’s some early momentum. The Seawolves committed three attack errors in the first eight points of the first set, giving the Red Storm a 6-3 lead. They went on to win the set 25-15.

“We also struggled to get in a rhythm passing, which compounded the issue,” Belzung said.

Errors nearly doomed the Seawolves in the second set, but Kunz’s service run gave Stony Brook its only momentum of the day. Up 15-10, three blocks from sophomore middle blocker Abby Campbell secured the lead despite a late Red Storm rally. Campbell finished with seven blocks, a career best.

The game soon spun away from Stony Brook. After going up 2-1 in the third set, the Seawolves trailed for the remainder of the match. Their defense had no counter for St. John’s outside hitter Rachele Rastelli, who finished with a team-high 18 kills.


Rastelli had nine kills in the fourth set alone — more than any Stony Brook player besides Kunz had in total. That powered the Red Storm to a 25-21 fourth set win that ended the match.

Stony Brook travels to Maryland this weekend to play the final three games of its non-conference schedule.


Jeremy is the editor-in-chief of The Statesman and a third-year English student at Stony Brook University. He previously served as the newspaper’s assistant sports editor for three semesters. Jeremy also covers the New York Giants for SB Nation and has written for five other publications.


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