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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Stony Brook women’s volleyball searches for playoff berth in the Battle of Long Island

Middle blocker Abby Campbell (8) spikes a set from setter Torri Henry (2) on Saturday, Nov. 4. Campbell and Henry will look to lead the Stony Brook women’s volleyball team to victory at Hofstra this weekend. IRENE YIMMONGKOL/THE STATESMAN

Currently riding a four-match winning streak, the Stony Brook women’s volleyball team has a chance to punch its ticket to the 2023 Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) women’s volleyball tournament.

The Seawolves (14-13, 9-7 CAA) will travel to Hempstead, N.Y., for a crucial meeting with their cross-town rival in the Battle of Long Island: the Hofstra Pride (18-9, 8-8 CAA). Stony Brook enters the weekend on the heels of a convincing sweep over the University of North Carolina-Wilmington (UNCW), while Hofstra was swept in debilitating fashion at Charleston. Both Saturday and Sunday’s match will begin at 1 p.m.

It is shaping up to be an offensive battle, as both offenses rank in the top three in the CAA in kills per set.

The Seawolves’ offense is headlined by their star duo of outside hitters: Kali Moore and Leoni Kunz. Moore is fourth in the CAA in kills per set (3.29) and fifth in points per set (3.58). Kunz is coming off arguably her best weekend of the season, as she hit at a .375 clip while tallying 33.5 points against UNCW. Kunz is 10th in the CAA with 3.37 points per set.

Middle blocker Abby Campbell is the team’s third-leading scorer, as she is averaging 2.75 points per set. Pin hitter Ava Jackson has been a key piece of the Stony Brook offense as of late, notching a pair of matches with 10 or more kills over her last three. On the season, Jackson is averaging 2.43 points and exactly two kills per set. Outside hitter Abby Stanwood has not played since Oct. 28 against William & Mary, but if she does, the Seawolves will be getting back their third leader in kills per set (2.45).

Setter Torri Henry is the linchpin of Stony Brook’s offense, as her 10.94 assists per set lead the CAA.

The Seawolves have struggled with self-inflicted wounds all season, as attack errors have been their only real issue. However, the past two weekends have been very clean, as they have raised their hitting percentage to .216, which is good for fourth-best in the CAA. 

That is thanks in large part to Campbell, whose .321 hitting percentage is just decimal points away from cracking the conference’s top 10.

The two sides are the two premier service teams in the CAA. Hofstra’s 2.10 service aces per set lead the conference, slightly edging out Stony Brook’s 2.02. For Hofstra, setter Beatriz Alves leads the way with 0.40 aces per set, placing her sixth in the CAA. The Seawolves boast a pair of players in the top 10, as Henry (0.41) and Moore (0.39) rank fourth and seventh, respectively. Both teams have eight different servers with 10 or more aces.

Service aside, Hofstra’s offense is strong, as it enters the weekend trailing only Towson in points per set. Outside hitters Clara Bal and Yagmur Cinel headline the Pride’s offense. Bal is sixth in the CAA in kills per set (3.18) and seventh in points per set (3.56). Cinel comes in at ninth and tenth in the CAA in points (3.51) and kills (2.96), respectively.

Middle blockers Emily Nunes and Sarah Pierre are among the best at their position in the conference. Nunes’ .354 hitting percentage puts her at sixth in the conference, while Pierre’s .325 clip barely edges out Campbell for 10th in the CAA.

While Henry has established herself as the best setter in the conference, Alves is not far behind with 10.57 assists per set — the second-best mark in the CAA.

The Seawolves’ defense has had an up-and-down year. However, they have played well as of late. Stony Brook’s 15.86 digs per set sits second in the conference, but its .216 hitting percentage against is the fourth-worst mark in the CAA. Libero Julia Patsos contributes 4.31 digs per set, which places her second in the conference. Kunz and Moore have also played good defense recently, with each setting career-highs in digs in the last two weeks.

The Pride are average at defending against opposing attacks, as their 14.16 digs per set places them in seventh place in the CAA. They surrender just a .197 hitting percentage, which is the third-best rate in the conference.

Neither team excels at the net, with both sides sitting in the bottom four in the CAA in blocks. The Seawolves (1.57) only outrank Hampton, while Hofstra’s 1.75 blocks per set is fourth-worst in the conference.

However, Stony Brook has improved its blocking numbers over the past two weekends. Campbell’s 62 total blocks (five solo and 57 assists) lead the team, while Kunz’s 57 (four solo and 53 assists) are the second-most on the team. Middle blocker Ayanna Pierre Louis has been effective in that regard, averaging the second-most blocks per set (0.68) on the squad.

Not only will the Seawolves be playing to win, but they will also be scoreboard watching this weekend. With three playoff spots still up for grabs, Stony Brook, Northeastern and Charleston enter with identical conference records, while Hofstra and William & Mary are on the outside looking in. The Huskies will take on first-place Towson, while the Cougars will play winless Hampton.

If the Seawolves sweep the Pride, or they win one match and Northeastern and Charleston each lose one, they will clinch the fourth seed in the postseason tournament.

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