The Binghamton women’s volleyball team dropped both its games over the weekend, losing to Stony Brook and Hartford. Although the Bearcats (0-20, 0-7 America East) were swept in both contests, the games were very different.
On Friday, Binghamton led Stony Brook (9-13, 4-3 AE) for a portion of the first set before losing the final two points to drop the set 25-23. The Bearcats came out strong in the second set, jumping out to a 5-1 lead, but faltered late in the set and allowed Stony Brook to end the frame on a 7-3 run to claim the set 25-18. The third set was dominated by the Seawolves, completing the sweep with a 25-14 win.
“Against Stony Brook, we competed well,” said Binghamton head coach Glenn Kiriyama. “We were more aggressive with our serving and our hitting. It was a pretty good match for us, there was a lot of energy with how we played. We just couldn’t execute down the stretch like we needed to.”
Junior outside hitter Francela Ulate led the way on offense for Binghamton with eight kills, while senior defensive specialist Kim Lavender had a team-high 12 digs. The Bearcats did a much better job defending against Stony Brook senior outside hitter Maria Poole than they did last time these teams met, as she had just three kills compared to 12 in their previous game.
However, Sunday’s loss to Hartford (13-11, 4-3 AE) was a blowout from start to finish, as Binghamton lost every set by double digits (25-15, 25-15, 25-6).
“Against Hartford it was tough because they are a physical team and we didn’t match up with them well,” Kiriyama said. “We struggled on offense, we didn’t pass well and we were not able to handle their physicality.”
One player who the Bearcats had trouble matching up with was senior middle blocker Jenna Bridges, who had 18 kills for Hartford.
“She’s just a bigger hitter,” Kiriyama said. “She hits hard and high and hit around the block fairly easily. When she’s on, it is going to be hard to dig. She showed why she is the defending player of the year.”
The first two sets of the game played out in a very similar fashion, as Hartford jumped out to a 7-2 lead in both. In the first set, Binghamton responded by cutting its deficit to 15-12 before Hartford ended the set on a 10-3 run. The Bearcats cut the Hawks’ lead to as close as 13-9 in the second set, but Hartford held on to win 25-15. The third set was less competitive than the first two, as Hartford started the set on an 8-0 run and did not let up in a 25-6 win to complete the sweep.
“We played a different lineup [in the last set] and it didn’t mesh as well as we would have liked,” Kiriyama said. “Things really just came together for [Hartford] in that last set.”
Leading the way for Binghamton on offense with eight kills and a .500 hitting percentage was senior outside hitter Victoria Keghlian. Sophomore setter Kiara Adams had 18 assists in the match.
“[Keghlian] did a good job hitting on the right side,” Kiriyama said. “[Adams] did a good job setting.”
On defense, Ulate had a team-high five digs for Binghamton, while Hartford sophomore defensive specialist Alex Lucero led the way for Hartford with 11 digs.
With its sequence of five consecutive road games now complete, Binghamton will return home to face New Hampshire on Friday, Nov. 8, still seeking its first win of the year. First serve is set for 6 p.m. from the West Gym in Vestal, New York.