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Stony Brook women’s volleyball seeking first series sweep of the year

Middle blocker Abby Campbell leaps to spike the ball against Northeastern on Saturday, Sept. 16. Campbell leads the Stony Brook women’s volleyball team in blocks and hitting percentage this season. BRITTNEY DIETZ/THE STATESMAN

After a dominant finish last weekend, the Stony Brook women’s volleyball team looks to build on its momentum and get back to .500 in conference play.

The Seawolves (5-9, 1-3 CAA) return to Pritchard Gymnasium after a road trip down south to take on the North Carolina A&T Aggies (4-8, 2-2 CAA) for a two-game series this weekend. The first match is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday and the second match begins at noon on Sunday.

Although Stony Brook has the superior offense compared to North Carolina A&T, it has fallen off in recent games. The Seawolves are fourth in the Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) in points per set (16.54) and assists per set (11.92), but their hitting percentage has plummeted to seventh in CAA (.200).

Outside hitter Kali Moore is leading the way for them on offense, sitting fifth in the CAA with 3.38 kills per set. Moore is third in the conference in points per set (4.04) and is eighth in service aces per set (0.44). Alongside Moore, outside hitter Leoni Kunz is having a good year. Kunz is the team’s second-leading scorer, averaging 3.22 points per set.

Middle blocker Abby Campbell leads the team in hitting percentage with .337 and is trailed by Kunz at .303. Campbell’s 2.83 points per set is third-best on the team. The team has also gotten contributions from outside hitter Abby Stanwood, who is third on the team with 95 kills.

Setter Torri Henry continues to be one of the best floor generals in the CAA, as she is second in assists per set (10.57). Henry has been effective from the service line as well, as she has totaled 18 aces, tying her with libero Julia Patsos for the second most on the team.

As a collective unit, the Seawolves’ 12.67 kills per set is fourth-best number in the conference. Stony Brook’s offense averages two aces per set, which is the second-best figure in the conference. Not only do Moore, Henry and Patsos find success while serving, but defensive specialist Madison Cigna and Campbell have each exceeded double figures in aces this season. Cigna has totaled 13, while Campbell aced her 10th serve of the year last week.

The Seawolves will match up with a struggling North Carolina A&T defense. The Aggies’ opponents hitting percentage is .235 this season, which is second-worst in the conference. However, they allow 11.31 kills per set, which is third-best in the CAA. Their 12.33 digs per set are the second-fewest in the CAA, while their 1.67 blocks per set are the third fewest.

Leading North Carolina A&T’s defense is defensive specialist Morgan Allen, who is eighth in the conference in digs per set (3.14). Middle blocker Maya Johnson currently leads the team with 34 total blocks, followed by fellow middle blocker Madison Sanabria with 26.

The Aggies’ offense is ranked in the bottom half in the CAA in most offensive categories, but their .227 hitting percentage ranks second in the conference. Their offense might get a spark from outside hitter Naiya Sawtelle, who averages the most kills per set (4.19) and most points per set (4.88) in the conference. Sawtelle is fourth in the CAA with 0.5 aces per set as well. Setter Chiara Napoli is two spots higher than Sawtelle on the conference’s leaderboard with an average of 0.55 aces per set. Napoli is also fourth in the conference with 7.98 assists per set.

The Seawolves may hold up on the defensive side, as they are ranked in the top half in most defensive statistical categories. However, they do allow quite a bit of scoring opportunities, as their .217 opponents’ hitting percentage and 1.87 blocks per set are each the fifth-worst figures in the CAA.

Stony Brook is fifth in the conference in opponents’ kills per set (11.92). The team has been good on the receiving end of serves, allowing just 1.39 aces per set, ranking sixth in the CAA.

The Seawolves have the most digs per set in the conference (15.16) thanks to Patsos’ 4.27 digs per set, which ranks second. Moore is second with 128 digs, followed by Henry’s 118. Campbell leads the team with 41 total blocks, while Kunz has contributed 34. Middle blocker Ayanna Pierre Louis has been good at the net, as her 22 blocks in just 31 sets gives her an average of 0.71 per set: the second-best rate on the team.

If the matches play out the way the numbers say they will, Stony Brook may very well be able to get itself consecutive wins for the first time all season.

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