The Stony Brook volleyball team moved to 7-10 (1-2 AE) after splitting a two-game road series against the Binghamton Bearcats and the Albany Great Danes on Friday, Oct. 1 and Sunday, Oct. 3.
The Seawolves opened the weekend by beating Binghamton in straight sets for their first win against an America East opponent of the season.
Stony Brook wasted no time, taking advantage of three consecutive Binghamton errors to take a 6-2 lead early in set one. The Seawolves had the lead for the rest of the set, but the Bearcats threatened to come back from a six-point deficit. Binghamton cut Stony Brook’s lead to two, but a 5-0 run led by freshman outside hitter Erin Garr’s two kills gave the Seawolves a 20-13 lead. The Bearcats then went on a 5-2 run, but it was too little too late, as the Seawolves shut the door on their 25-19 first set win.
The Seawolves carried their dominant play into the second set and took an early 11-3 lead. The Bearcats again clawed their way back into the set with a 6-2 run, but the Seawolves took over and used a 7-1 run to take a 23-12 lead. Kills from senior outside hitter Hailey Barden marked the Seawolves last two points to earn their 25-16 win.
The third set was the most competitive, with the two teams trading points until the Bearcats led 14-13. A 3-0 run gave Stony Brook a 16-14 lead, but Binghamton quickly tied the score at 17-17. Three kills from redshirt junior middle blocker Enitan Omolewa helped the Seawolves take control at 22-19. The Seawolves finished the set on three straight kills from three different players to clinch their 25-20 set win and sweep of the Bearcats.
“We were locked in from the start and I could see our focus by the way we were stressing Binghamton with our serve,” head coach Kristin Belzung said in a press release. “In addition, we executed a couple of game plan adjustments pretty seamlessly. I thought our defensive effort overall was good, which we needed against a scrappy Binghamton team.”
Sophomore outside hitter Leoni Kunz led the Seawolves with 10 kills, while sophomore setter Torri Henry had a team-high 41 assists and three service aces. Graduate libero Kiani Kerstetter’s nine digs put her at 1,787 for her career, marking a new program record.
“She has been a huge asset to our program and not only has executed on the court, but is the model of what you hope to recruit in a student-athlete,” Belzung said about Kerstetter. “I’m proud of her as she finds herself atop a great list of former Seawolves.”
Following Friday’s sweep, the Seawolves went on the road again and were swept by the Albany Great Danes on Sunday.
Albany took an early five-point lead in the first set and extended it to six points at 20-14, but the Seawolves had some fight left in them. A 7-1 run led by Omolewa’s service ace and two kills tied the score at 21, but the Great Danes were ultimately able to weather the storm. Up 23-22, the Danes were assisted by two straight errors from Henry to give them the 25-22 win in set one.
The second set was Albany’s from the start, as the Danes jumped out to a 16-4 lead. The Seawolves would’ve needed a miracle to come back from that deficit, but Albany kept the pressure on and finished with a dominant 25-12 set two win.
The Seawolves came out with more energy in the third set, which was a back-and-forth affair. A 4-0 run gave Stony Brook a 13-11 lead, but Albany worked to retake the lead at 17-15. After four tied scores, Albany went on a 3-0 run to take a 23-20 lead. The Seawolves got within one point, but the Great Danes went on to win 25-23 to earn the sweep.
Still early in America East play, the Seawolves are now in fifth place out of seven teams in the conference.
The Seawolves will return to Pritchard Gymnasium to face the New Hampshire Wildcats (9-7, 2-1 AE) on Friday, October 8 at 6 p.m.