The Binghamton volleyball team was swept on Friday evening in a match against the University of New Hampshire, losing in straight sets to continue its winless season.
“[I’m] disappointed in our play, but I think they work hard,” said Binghamton head coach Glenn Kiriyama. “Our team is working hard, trying to get better, and there’s certain things we see that [indicate] the effort’s there on a lot of them, we’re just not executing very well right now. I wish we could execute a little better, but New Hampshire’s a good team. They just beat the top team in the conference, so they’re definitely a solid team that we’re playing against.”
During the opening set, the Bearcats found themselves on the wrong side of an 8-3 run following the first serve. Some improved ball movement soon allowed the team to trim the deficit to just two points. This, however, was as close as the team was able to get to tying. For the remainder of the set, the Wildcats were firing on all cylinders, ultimately taking the set by seven points.
The teams went back and forth with their scoring in the first few volleys of set two and though the Wildcats had the initial lead, a kill by sophomore setter Kiara Adams allowed Binghamton to tie the set at seven.
“She had a nice match,” Kiriyama said. “I thought we didn’t pass well for her, so she was making a lot of plays out of some tough situations. She was able to get some points for us in situations where maybe we wouldn’t have been able to get those. So, it was nice to see that.”
Following the tie, New Hampshire kicked into gear on both sides of the court, dominating their opponent. It took the visiting team 18 additional points to win the set, and during this time they held the Binghamton offense to just five.
The third and final set began much as the prior one had, with the Wildcats taking an early lead before Binghamton made an effort to come back. While BU was able to keep the score within two points early on, the New Hampshire offense began to pull away when it scored eight to BU’s one, expanding its early two-point edge to a nine-point margin. With the score now 19-10, the Bearcats scored a quick four points, the last of which came via a kill from junior outside hitter Francela Ulate.
“Fran, she came on late in the match there,” Kiriyama said. “Had some nice swings in that third set. We wished we could have gotten her a little bit more sets, but we just didn’t control the ball well enough on our side. That’s the major downfall of this match.”
The Bearcats’ offense continued to go off, with the team finishing the set stronger. It was, however, too little too late. While BU was able to finish strong, the deficit proved too much to overcome that late in the frame. New Hampshire ended up claiming its victory in this final set by a three-point margin.
“It’s just a lot of small things here and there,” Kiriyama said. “Everything from communication to a little bit of ball control and being able to hit the spots and read the play a little bit better. Just a lot of small things.”
Ulate ended the night with nine kills. She was followed by freshman middle hitter Anna Sprys, who had five. Adams finished the match with four kills, eight digs and 20 assists.
With just two games remaining, the potential of a winless season is imminent for Binghamton. The team’s final matches of the season will take place next weekend at home against Albany and UMBC.
The match against Albany will take place on Friday, Nov. 15. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. from the West Gym in Vestal, New York.