The Binghamton volleyball team recorded a winning record at the Providence Tournament over the weekend. The Bearcats posted bookend sweeps against Fairleigh Dickinson and Saint Peter’s with a 3-1 loss to Providence in the middle.
“[The team] is definitely excited about the wins,” said Binghamton head coach Glenn Kiriyama. “It’ll hopefully keep them motivated and keep them working hard … We saw a lot of good things this weekend so hopefully we can build off these wins.”
In their first matchup of the tournament, BU (3-6) took down Fairleigh Dickinson (3-6) in just three sets. Although the Bearcats swept the Knights, each set was decided by less than five points. In the first set of the match, Binghamton was forced into extended play before taking it 26-24. BU then took two more nail-biters from the Knights, winning their last two sets 25-23 and 25-21.
The Bearcats’ offense was led by sophomore outside hitter Stefana Stan who accumulated 14 kills throughout the match. Junior right side hitter Victoria Erwat was right behind her, setting two new career-highs with 13 kills and eight digs. Senior setter Kiara Adams added to her already-strong season after posting 31 assists.
“It was a good start to the weekend,” Kiriyama said. “They’ve been able to rally together and work hard together.”
Binghamton’s hot start couldn’t carry over into match two of the tournament, though, as they fell to nearly undefeated Providence (10-1) in a 3-1 loss. After dropping the first set 25-16, the Bearcats showed signs of a comeback and rallied for a 25-22 win. Despite tying it up, the Friars came out hot and took the third set handily 25-8. BU showed more life in the fourth set but lost 25-17.
Even in the midst of a tough loss, the Bearcats managed to post some bright spots in game two of the tournament as Adams finished with 33 assists and Stan posted 13 kills.
The Bearcats were able to close out the tournament on a strong note, sweeping Saint Peter’s (1-10) 3-0. Binghamton took the first two sets without much trouble, winning 25-19 and 25-16. The Peacocks put some pressure on BU in the third set as the Bearcats won in extended play 29-27. The win capped off the Bearcats’ tournament as they finished with a winning record of 2-1. BU more than doubled the Peacocks’ total in kills by a 45-22 margin.
“The third game was one of those games where we started off slow but fell behind,” Kiriyama said. “Credit to [Saint Peter’s], they didn’t give up and kept chiseling down that lead.”
Erwat led the team in kills, once again posting 13 kills and tying her career-high. Over the weekend, she played seven sets, five more than she had in the previous tournament.
“[Erwat] came in and she was a little nervous coming in but she did a nice job and held her own out there,” Kiriyama said.
This tournament serves as a step in the right direction for the Bearcats, who have struggled as a team in recent seasons. Binghamton was on a four-match slide before taking two out of three games over the weekend.
“It’s been a tough couple of years, but hopefully [the team] is starting to put that behind them,” Kiriyama said. “They’re just looking forward to what lays here in front of them. We try not to dwell on them too much.”
Binghamton is scheduled to take on Siena College on Wednesday, Sept. 15. First set is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the UHY Center in Loudonville, New York.