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Red-hot Stony Brook women’s volleyball looks to feast on winless Hampton

Outside hitter Kali Moore tosses the ball up to serve it against North Carolina A&T on Saturday, Sept. 30. Moore is the Coastal Athletic Association’s fifth-leading scorer. TIM GIORLANDO/THE STATESMAN

Currently riding a four-match winning streak, the Stony Brook women’s volleyball team has a prime opportunity to tack on two more.

The Seawolves (8-9, 3-3 CAA) will take a trip down to Virginia to take on the Hampton Pirates (0-8, 0-6 CAA) for a two-match series this weekend. The first match is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Saturday, and the second match will start at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Stony Brook has the upper hand in both areas of the game, but its offense has been sloppy. The Seawolves are fourth in the Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) in points (16.52) and kills (12.85) per set, but their hitting percentage has gradually dropped to ninth (.204).

Stony Brook’s offense is spearheaded by a dynamic duo of outside hitters Kali Moore and Leoni Kunz. Moore sits at fifth in the CAA in kills (3.28) and points (3.89) per set. She recorded her fifth double-double of the year last Saturday against North Carolina A&T, but her frequent errors have dampened her performances. Moore posted just a .134 hitting percentage last weekend and an .056 against Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) on Wednesday. Her hitting percentage is down to .145 this year.

Kunz is coming off some strong performances. She racked up 38 points in the series against the Aggies and 11.5 against FDU on Wednesday. Kunz is currently 10th in the CAA in kills (2.95) and points (3.35) per set.

Outside hitter Abby Stanwood has continued to improve in her sophomore year. She led the team in both points (15) and kills (15) on Wednesday — both of which were career highs. She has the third-most kills (125) and kills per set (2.5) on the team.

Middle blocker Abby Campbell is the Seawolves’ third-leading scorer with 2.75 points per set. Her .349 hitting percentage leads them and is the seventh-best rate in the CAA.

Setter Torri Henry facilitates this offense and has arguably been the best player at her position in the conference. She leads the CAA with 10.87 assists per set and has recorded nine double-doubles.

Stony Brook is lethal from the service line, as it is second in the CAA with 2.05 aces per set. The team has a lethal rotating group of serves, as Henry, Moore and libero Julia Patsos have all tallied over twenty service aces this year. Henry is fourth in the CAA with 26, Moore is fifth with 25 and Patsos is tied for ninth with 21. Defensive specialist Madison Cigna has contributed another 13, while Campbell and outside hitter Lauren Schmitz have chipped in 12. Pin hitter Ava Jackson recently joined the double-digit aces club with her 10th of the season at FDU.

The Seawolves match up well with Hampton’s defense, as it has allowed the most kills (14.32) and aces (3.12) per set in the conference. The Pirates also allow the highest opponent hitting percentage (.341) in the CAA. They also average the fewest digs (8.20) and blocks (1.56) per set. Hampton defensive specialist Kylah Hunter leads her team with 64 digs, and middle blocker Rickelle Wescott leads it with 21 total blocks (five solo and 16 assists).

Hampton’s offense is also the worst in the conference, recording the least amount of points (8.04), assists (5.32), kills (5.76) and aces (0.72) per set in the CAA. It has only netted an .013 hitting percentage as a team. The Pirates’ most redeeming quality on offense is that it does not get stuffed at the net, allowing only 1.56 opponent blocks per set — which is second best in the conference.

Wescott is the only player for Hampton that cracks any of the CAA’s statistical leaderboards, as she averages the fourth-most aces per set (0.52) in the conference. Outside hitter Madison Clark is the only Pirate averaging multiple points per set, as she leads them with 2.34.

Stony Brook’s defense has not been its identity, but the Pirates’ offense presents an opportunity for it to tee off. As a team, the Seawolves lead the CAA in digs per set with 15.35. Much of that comes from Patsos’ 4.19 digs per set, which is the second-best number in the conference. Moore (2.64) and Henry (2.53) are also very involved in that area.

Stony Brook sits around the middle of the pack in most defensive statistics. However, their .217 hitting percentage allowed is the fourth-worst figure in the conference.

If the Seawolves can sweep the weekend, they will raise their win-loss record over .500 for the first time since Sept. 11, 2022 when they beat Seton Hall to improve to 4-3 overall.

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About the Contributor
Kenny Spurrell, Assistant Sports Editor
Kenny Spurrell is an Assistant Sports Editor of The Statesman. He is a senior English major and journalism minor at Stony Brook University. He began covering sports for The Statesman during the Fall 2021 semester. Since then, he has covered men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse and football. His passion for sports derives from his many years of playing basketball, football and baseball. He is a Long Island native from Selden, N.Y. and has dreams of becoming a sports journalist.
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