The Binghamton volleyball team hosted Siena this Tuesday night for its home opener in the West Gym. It was a strong showing from the Bearcats beginning with the first serve, in which senior middle hitter Kristella Morina performed an eye-opening kill off an assist from senior setter Sarah Ngo. This point set the tone for much of the match, which featured BU (3-4) defending its court, 3-0.

“For our first home match, I was afraid that the jitters might get to them a little bit,” said BU head coach Glenn Kiriyama. “But they came out strong and really took control pretty early. It was good to see the middles get involved really quick and really dominate the match.”

While Binghamton maintained control during a majority of the game, the first frame was contested at different instances. It began with five unanswered points from the Bearcats, four of which came courtesy of assists from Ngo. In response, the Saints (0-5) began a run of their own, cutting the lead down to just two points at their closest to obtaining the advantage. Despite this stretch, BU kept its edge throughout the first sequence, which ended 25-17 in its favor.

The second set was neck-and-neck at first, with both squads exchanging points until the score was 6-5 Siena. It was at this moment that the Bearcats began to run away with the frame. Ngo continued her success from the previous game in setting up her teammates for kills, propelling Binghamton to take the set without strain, 25-11.

Set three began just the same as the first set: with five unanswered points logged by the Bearcats. BU maintained its lead throughout the remainder of the set, with an advantage as large as nine points on two separate occasions. Siena did manage to cut the margin to just four points to conclude a 5-0 run at the halfway point, but the Bearcats went on to take control and never looked back. They allowed the Saints just four more points for the remainder of the set, which concluded 25-16.

Morina and senior middle hitter Lexi LaGoy both had noteworthy performances throughout the course of the match. Morina had a total of 14 kills, as well as a hitting percentage of .778. LaGoy finished with seven kills and an .875 hitting percentage.

“They were our best hitters today,” Kiriyama said. “They just really dominated the middles and the upper side. Blocking-wise, they got their hands on a lot of balls and not a lot of clean hits went through the block today. They were unstoppable, especially their one-on-one in the middle. It was good that Sarah took advantage of that and fed them some good sets there.”

Following this victory, Binghamton is scheduled to compete in the Cornell Invitational this weekend, where they will take on Cornell University, Valparaiso University and St. John’s University. With the Bearcats now on a two-game win streak, the team is undeniably gaining momentum.

“Our confidence is getting pretty high there,” Kiriyama said. “We had a nice match against Cleveland before this. Hopefully it’ll help us this weekend, give us that catapult that we need to overcome Cornell, our nemesis.”

The Bearcats will face off with Cornell this Friday night on the road. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. from the Newman Arena in Ithaca, New York.