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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Dominant sweep extends Stony Brook women’s volleyball’s win streak to six

Setter Torri Henry sets the ball against North Carolina A&T on Saturday, Sept. 30. Henry totaled 74 assists and 18 digs at Hampton this weekend. TIM GIORLANDO/THE STATESMAN

The Stony Brook women’s volleyball team played its best weekend to date to rise over .500 for the first time in a while.

It was an easy trip down to Virginia for the Seawolves (10-9, 5-3 CAA), who made the Hampton Pirates (0-10, 0-8 CAA) walk the plank over the weekend. They made quick work of the Coastal Athletic Association’s (CAA) cellar dwellers, sweeping them 3-0 on both Saturday and Sunday.

To open the match on Saturday, the Seawolves jumped out to a 4-0 lead thanks to a pair of kills from outside hitter Leoni Kunz and a kill from fellow outside hitter Kali Moore. Hampton went on a 5-3 run thanks in part to back-to-back attack errors by Kunz and Moore, cutting Stony Brook’s lead to 7-5. That was the closest the Pirates got, as the Seawolves immediately went on an 18-7 run that included a pair of 5-0 stretches. The extended run secured a 25-12 victory. Middle blocker Abby Campbell led the team with four kills during that stretch, while outside hitter Abby Stanwood followed her with three.

The second set was initially competitive and saw Stony Brook clinging onto an 11-9 lead. The Seawolves did not have to cling for long, as a kill by middle blocker Ayanna Pierre Louis jumpstarted a season-best 12-0 run to go up 23-9. After the first five points of the run, setter Torri Henry recorded five consecutive service aces. An attack error by Moore snapped the stretch, but back-to-back kills by Stanwood and Moore herself nailed home the 25-10 win.

Hampton started off the third set with a sense of urgency, jumping to a 5-1 lead. Stony Brook scored the next five points to jump back in front, and a back-and-forth affair ensued. The Seawolves went on to take a 12-9 lead, but a kill by Hampton outside hitter Rhisen Davis and an ace by setter Nadja Bulatovic made it a one-point game. Over the next 16 serves, Moore, Kunz and Louis combined for eight points — all via kills — to lead an 11-5 run. Now leading 23-16, Stony Brook allowed back-to-back points. Henry and Moore squashed any hope of a rally with consecutive kills to win the set 25-18 and secure the series-opening sweep.

The following day, the Seawolves picked up where they left off and scored the opening set’s first three points. They never looked back and wound up coasting to an 18-9 lead before a 6-2 run by the Pirates. However, the response came too late and Stony Brook capped the set off with a game-winning kill from Louis to take it 25-18.

The second set was over almost immediately. The Pirates scored first with an ace from Bulatovic, but the Seawolves followed with a 13-2 stretch to go up by 10 points. Over the rest of the set, kills by the usual suspects plus errors by Hampton allowed Stony Brook to coast to a 25-12 triumph.

The third set was a repeat of the second. This time, pin hitter Ava Jackson spearheaded an 11-3 opening run with four kills, while Kunz chipped in another two. Three kills by Stanwood and a trio of attack errors by the Pirates grew the Seawolves’ lead to 10 points at 17-7. Hampton scored the next three points, but a service error by middle blocker Rickelle Wescott allowed Stony Brook to go on a 5-0 run, making it 22-10. Middle blocker Katie Hickey sealed the deal with back-to-back kills to give the Seawolves their third 25-12 win of the weekend, clinching the sweep.

Head coach Kristin Belzung commended the team’s focus and clean play throughout the series in their commanding win over the Pirates.

“We were locked in from start to finish today,” Belzung said in a postgame interview with Stony Brook Athletics. “We did a really good job of staying clean in all phases of the game and forced Hampton to earn their points.

Belzung thought the team was sluggish to start the match, but commended the team’s transition offense in getting the win on Sunday.

“I thought we came out a little slow today but picked up our aggressiveness on offense, especially in transition to earn our points.” Belzung said.

Stony Brook dominated all of the statistical categories against Hampton. The Seawolves had 91 kills, which nearly doubled the Pirates’ 46. They also recorded 16 aces as a team. Moore led the team with 21 kills and scored 23 points. Kunz led the squad with 23.5 points. Henry facilitated the offense effectively with 74 assists between the two matches.

Stony Brook played a clean weekend, recording a .333 hitting percentage while holding Hampton to an .061. On defense, the Seawolves also recorded 118 digs while the Pirates only posted 80. Libero Julia Patsos led the team with 27 digs over the weekend, while Kunz trailed her with 25. Kunz led the team with five total blocks (two solo, three assists) while Louis narrowly trailed her with four (all assists).

Henry continues to prove why she is the best setter in the conference as she contributed 75 assists out of the Seawolves’ 88 in six sets played. This series resulted in Henry taking the number one spot in the conference in average assist per set. Henry is also fourth in the conference in average aces per set, adding to her total with six total aces over the weekend.

Looking ahead, the Seawolves will return to Pritchard Gymnasium this upcoming weekend to take on the Delaware Blue Hens. Delaware is currently 12-4 on the year and 5-3 in CAA play after sweeping Northeastern 3-0 in both contests this past weekend. Opening set is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

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