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Stony Brook women’s volleyball swept at Towson, now on four-match slide

Outside hitter Kali Moore (15) bumps the ball into the air while libero Julia Patsos (9) and middle blocker Abby Campbell (8) get into position. Moore led the team in scoring this weekend at Towson. BRITTNEY DIETZ/THE STATESMAN

For the third time this year, the Stony Brook women’s volleyball team endured a winless weekend of conference action.

The Seawolves (10-13, 5-7 CAA) visited the first-place Towson Tigers (17-5, 10-2 CAA) in Maryland this weekend for a two-match series. Towson proved why it is atop the Coastal Athletic Association’s (CAA) food chain, sweeping Stony Brook 3-0 on both Saturday and Sunday.

The first set on Saturday was the most competitive of the weekend, as it featured eight ties and four lead changes, leading to both teams being deadlocked at 19-19. The Tigers took control of the set after consecutive errors from middle blocker Abby Campbell and setter Torri Henry before a kill by outside hitter Victoria Barrett made it 22-19. Stony Brook responded with a 4-2 run thanks in part to kills by outside hitters Kali Moore and Leoni Kunz, cutting Towson’s lead to 24-23. However, on set point, Campbell spiked the ball out of bounds, securing the loss.

The Seawolves started off hot opening the second set, scoring the first four points and ultimately jumping out to a 7-3 lead. That lead was wiped out by a 12-1 run by the Tigers that middle blocker Aayinde Smith sparked with a kill. Moore and pin hitter Ava Jackson got Stony Brook back into it by spearheading an 11-5 run, with each of them recording three kills apiece during the stretch. 

The stretch cut Towson’s lead down to 21-19, but three consecutive attack errors by the Seawolves set up match point. On the set point, defensive specialist Kerra Trimble served an ace to win the middle set 25-19 for the Tigers.

Towson carried its momentum into the decisive third set, jumping out to a 15-5 lead on the back of five kills and an ace by outside hitter Nina Cajic. The lead was insurmountable, and the Tigers locked down the 25-15 set win to take the match.

Sunday’s match was almost identical to Saturday’s, and that started with the first set. The opener saw eight ties and four lead changes. With Stony Brook leading 16-15, Cajic spiked a kill that sprouted a 7-1 run to put Towson up 22-17. After that, both teams exchanged three points each, and Smith recorded the game-winning kill to earn a 25-20 victory.

Early in the second set, Campbell led the Seawolves on a 9-5 opening run by picking up a trio of kills and an ace. However, their inability to hold onto a lead reared its ugly head yet again. Both teams traded points and service back and forth for much of the middle part of the set until a kill by Towson outside hitter Irbe Lazda sparked a 4-0 run, giving the Tigers a 17-14 lead.

From that point on, Towson remained in the driver’s seat and outscored Stony Brook 8-4 over the rest of the set to win it 25-19.

The Tigers smelt blood in the water and leapt out to a 12-5 lead, with six of their points coming from errors by Stony Brook’s attack. The rest of the third and final set was a back-and-forth affair with Towson besting the Seawolves 13-11 over the final stretch. The Tigers won it 25-16 to clinch the match and series sweep, keeping themselves atop the CAA and sinking Stony Brook to 10th place.

The Seawolves were sloppy again, committing 29 attack errors in the series, which limited them to a .155 hitting percentage. Towson more than doubled Stony Brook’s input, posting a .321 hitting percentage between the two matches.

Moore led the Seawolves in scoring with 17 points and 14 kills. Campbell was the second-leading scorer with 15.5 points, while Kunz was second behind Moore in kills with 13. Henry had her lowest-assist series of the season, recording 50 assists across six sets.

On defense, libero Julia Patsos led the team with 33 digs. Campbell and middle blocker Ayanna Pierre Louis co-led the team with three total blocks in the series — all of which were assists.

Stony Brook will now return to Pritchard Gymnasium for their next matchup against the William & Mary Tribe. Opening set is scheduled for 1 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. The Tribe are in a three-way tie for fourth place in the CAA with a 12-10 overall record and 7-5 record in conference action. They split their most recent series against North Carolina A&T, winning 3-1 on Saturday and losing 3-0 on Sunday.

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