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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Stony Brook women’s volleyball to take on first-place Towson

Several Stony Brook women’s volleyball players celebrate a point against Delaware on Saturday, Oct. 14. The Seawolves will take on Towson in Maryland this weekend. BRITTNEY DIETZ/THE STATESMAN

Coming off a humbling reality check, the Stony Brook women’s volleyball team is set to square off with another Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) powerhouse.

The Seawolves (10-11, 5-5 CAA) will make the trip to Maryland to take on the first-place Towson Tigers (15-5, 8-2 CAA) this weekend. Towson will look to solidify itself as the CAA’s favorite once again, while Stony Brook will try to keep itself afloat in the thick of the playoff hunt. The opening set is penciled in for 6 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

This weekend’s matchup looks to be a high-scoring battle, with both teams coming in amongst the top four scoring offenses in the CAA. The Tigers’ 18.22 points per set leads the CAA, while the Seawolves’ 16.58 ranks fourth.

Stony Brook’s offense is spearheaded by the combo of outside hitters Kali Moore and Leoni Kunz. Moore ranks fourth and fifth in the conference in points per set (3.91) and kills per set (3.27) respectively. Kunz is coming off a down weekend against Delaware but still averages 2.95 kills per set and 3.36 points per set, both of which are just shy of the CAA’s top 10. Outside hitter Abby Stanwood has given the team some juice this year and is third on the team with 2.70 points per set.

The Seawolves have struggled as a team with attack errors all season and have fallen into the bottom half of the conference in hitting percentage, ranking seventh at .207. Efficiency has not been an issue for middle blocker Abby Campbell, as her .324 hitting percentage ranks 10th in the conference. Campbell also owns an average of 2.64 points per set, which is the fourth highest on the team.

Setter Torri Henry facilitates Stony Brook’s offense at an elite level. She leads the conference with 10.84 assists per set.

The Seawolves are elite from the service line and are second in the CAA with 2.15 service aces per set. Henry’s 36 aces rank fourth in the conference, while Moore’s 33 rank fifth. Libero Julia Patsos is tied for eighth in the CAA with 27 aces. Seven different Stony Brook servers have cracked double figures this year.

Towson enters the match as an offensive juggernaut, leading the conference in assists, hitting percentage and points. Only Hofstra averages more kills per set than the Tigers, and it is only by 0.01.

The Tigers boast three players in the top 10 of the CAA’s kills leaderboard. Outside hitter Nina Cajic leads the way with 3.51 kills per set, which comfortably places her second in the conference. She is also second in the conference with 4.13 points per set. Outside hitters Victoria Barrett (3.81 points per set) and Irbe Lazda (3.66 points per set) are the fifth and seventh-leading scorers in the CAA, respectively.

Towson’s offense is extremely efficient, leading the conference with a .298 hitting percentage. That is 32 points clear of the next-best team. Middle blocker Aayinde Smith leads the team with a .378 hitting percentage. Lazda (.358) and Cajic (.335) rank sixth and eighth in the CAA, respectively.

The lead facilitator on the Tigers’ roster is setter Sarah Jordan. Her 8.43 assists per set are the fourth-most in the conference.

As a team, Towson is middle of the pack from the service line, ranking sixth with 1.69 aces per set. Libero Sydney Stewart is ninth in the conference with 0.41 aces per set.

The Seawolves have struggled on defense this year. Their .213 hitting percentage allowed is the fifth-worst figure in the CAA. However, they are second in digs per set with 15.65. Patsos ranks second in the conference with 4.21 digs per set. They average only 1.53 blocks per set as a team, which is the second-worst rate in the CAA. Campbell leads the team with 45 total blocks (two solo and 43 assists) while Kunz trails her by one.

Towson’s defense is only 10th with 13.38 digs per set. However, Stewart is fifth with 3.66 digs per set. However, the Tigers are the best team at the net in the CAA, averaging 2.56 blocks per set. Smith leads them with 80 total blocks (seven solo and 73 assists), while middle blocker Erin Brothers trails her with 74 (one solo and 73 assists). Lazda’s 6-foot-3 frame has helped her block 70 total attacks, with six being solo and 64 being assists. Towson’s blocks have given it the lowest opponents hitting percentage, allowing just a .163 kill rate.

Stony Brook has been susceptible to blocks, suffering from 2.19 opponents blocks per set, which is the third-worst number in the CAA.

With only a month left in the season, this set may have long-term implications for the Seawolves in regards to the postseason.

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