The Binghamton volleyball traveled to Washington, D.C. over the weekend to compete in the Georgetown Invitational. After shutting out George Washington, the Bearcats would go on to fall to the Hoyas in a five-set thriller. The next day, BU bounced back against Rider for its final game of the tournament, ending the weekend 2-1 and continuing its best start in the program’s Division I history.

“It was a really good test for us,” said Binghamton head coach Allie Yaeger. “All of these teams this weekend were good … they were better teams than what their record showed them to be.”

On Friday, Binghamton’s (7-2) first matchup was against the Generals (3-6). The Bearcats started their weekend with a win as they took all three sets 25-20, 25-16 and 25-14, respectively. Freshman outside hitter Giulia Bonifacio led BU with 13 kills and an ace in the game.

Shortly after defeating George Washington, the Bearcats would go on to face Georgetown (2-7). Despite going up 2-1 after an overtime nail-biter in set three, BU was unable to close the Hoyas out, losing the next two sets by two points each.

“Things just didn’t go our way and it wasn’t our night, but that is a match that I would love to play again,” Yaeger said. “We were very inconsistent, we looked tired … We just couldn’t put all the pieces together and really get the momentum going … I’m not overly mad with the loss, I think we learned a lot from it.”

Junior outside hitter Tsvetelina Ilieva was Binghamton’s go-to weapon on offense, as she led all Bearcats with 22 kills in the match. Additionally, freshman libero Madison Konopka added 20 digs, and freshman setter Lottie Scully dished out 45 assists.

Ilieva and Yaeger, both recently coming from Seton Hall, are familiar with playing Georgetown. Yaeger noted Ilieva’s excitement and comfort with facing the Big East school.

“[Ilieva] was very excited to play Georgetown,” Yaeger said. “Me and her both came from the Big East where we played Georgetown last year, and she’s used to playing that team and she’s used to playing in that gym, so I think she had a comfort level with playing them.”

To close out the weekend, BU took on Rider (2-7). The Bearcats rebounded in dominant fashion after losing to the Hoyas by sweeping the Broncs in three sets. Binghamton held a comfortable lead for the vast majority of the game. The only time the Bearcats trailed was early in the third when Rider took a 3-2 lead. BU went on to dominate the rest of the set and won 25-16 to end the tournament on a victory.

“I didn’t know how this morning was going to go,” Yaeger said. “It was [a matter of] who was going to show up and who’s going to be ready to go, and we hands down were definitely that team. From the start to the finish we took care of business … We were consistent, we were low-error — it was everything I could’ve asked coming off of a volleyball hangover.”

Junior outside hitter Stefana Stan traveled with the team this weekend after missing last week’s tournament. The Bearcat supported both the offense and defense, tallying 27 kills and 12 blocks during the weekend.

“You always know what you’re going to get with [Stan],” Yaeger said. “She brings a lot of experience now that she’s a junior … With her, it’s a comfort level for me. When she comes subbing into the game, I always know what we’re gonna get from her. It’s consistency, it’s being smart and she blocks really well, so it was nice having her back.”

Binghamton is scheduled to face Delaware State this Thursday, Sept. 15 to compete in the West Virginia Tournament. First serve is scheduled for 10 a.m at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, West Virginia.