The Binghamton volleyball team posted a winless record at the Lehigh Steel Tournament over the weekend. The Bearcats fell 3-0 to Dartmouth College on Friday before losing both games during Saturday’s doubleheader against St. Francis College and Lehigh University.
“Overall, this was a better showing than last weekend,” said Binghamton head coach Glenn Kiriyama. “Our play was a lot better all around. We were not very consistent. One match our outsides would have a nice match, in another our middles would have a nice match and not our outsides … We’re not quite there yet but we’re making progress.”
After being swept by Dartmouth (3-0), the Bearcats (1-5) followed the loss up with a much more even match with St. Francis Brooklyn (2-5). Binghamton took the first two sets from the Terriers 25-12 and 25-19 before squandering the early lead and losing three straight sets, 25-23, 25-22 and 15-10. Kiriyama said the 3-2 fall to the Terriers was one of the better matchups the Bearcats played this season.
“[The matchup] was disappointing for us to lose in five,” Kiriyama said. “But it was good to win those first two sets — two of our better sets this season.”
That same day, the tournament host, Lehigh (2-4), swept the Bearcats, 25-14, 25-19 and 25-21. The Mountain Hawks won the first two sets in convincing fashion. However, Binghamton rallied at the end of the third set, scoring five of the final seven points of the match before the Mountain Hawks put the match away by scoring the winning point to win 25-21. The 3-0 loss to Lehigh marked BU’s third and final defeat at the tournament.
Despite the losses, the Bearcats built positive momentum throughout the tournament. In her second career full match, freshman outside hitter Carly Powell led the Bearcats with 15 kills against the Terriers. Two other Bearcats joined her with double-digit kills in that match with sophomore outside hitter Stefana Stan getting 13 kills and junior middle hitter Anna Sprys with 11 kills. Senior setter Kiara Adams led the team in assists in both games of Saturday’s doubleheader. In the first match she recorded 42 assists, the most she has recorded since her freshman year. In the second match, she accumulated 19 assists.
While the Bearcats were swept at the weekend tournament, Kiriyama said that many of BU’s preseason matchups are winnable.
“[The teams] are fairly comparable,” Kiriyama said. “Some of the teams we’re playing have had success in their conferences so they’re going to be pretty tough matchups for us, but no one’s out of our league. I feel like we’ve always got a chance against these teams.”
Binghamton is scheduled to take on the Providence Tournament from Friday, Sept. 10 to Saturday, Sept. 11. The team’s first match against Fairleigh Dickinson University is set for 4:30 p.m. at the Alumni Hall in Providence, Rhode Island.