The first match took place on Friday against Hofstra (8-6), who defeated the Bearcats (3-10) in three sets. Set one was tightly contested, featuring a strong showing from both teams on both ends of the court. Hofstra, however, managed to rally past a 16-16 tie to take the set 25-21.
The second set began with fierce competition by each squad. At the set’s midway point, as little as one point separated the score. But the pride eventually took control of the frame, securing a 25-18 victory. The final game was not close, as Hofstra emerged strong out of the gate and eventually claimed the final set 25-16.
“There are a few areas that we didn’t do so well in,” said BU head coach Glenn Kiriyama. “Our passing was a little bit off … we got better as the weekend went on, but we started off pretty slow. Our middles, without the passing, were just unable to get them involved very well. Didn’t connect well even with the good passes, just got to get them going. I think if we can do that we will be okay coming into this coming weekend.”
On Saturday afternoon, the Bearcats took on Syracuse (8-5). The first set was relatively contested initially, but following a 13-12 start, Syracuse began to dominate the frame and eventually won, 25-18.
The second set began with six unanswered points from Syracuse, part of an 11-3 run. The Orange maintained control over the sequence, ultimately earning the victory, 25-12. The Bearcats put up a tremendous effort in the third and final frame and ended up losing by just two points. Senior setter Sarah Ngo put up a clinic, setting up her teammates for a total of 18 kills during the third set alone.
The Bearcats took on Bryant (8-7) Saturday afternoon, and despite taking the second set, dropped the match to the Bulldogs, 1-3. The first frame began with close play, as the two clubs kept the lead within three points for some time. The Bulldogs, however, gained momentum toward the set’s midpoint, eventually taking it 25-18.
The second game was tight throughout, as both teams exchanged five- to six-point leads. The Bearcats were able to close out the set by a three-point margin, largely due to junior outside hitter Gaby Alicea’s 14-point series.
The third set featured the Bearcats struggling to find offensive consistency. After an early 10-10 tie, Bryant took control. The Bulldogs allowed Binghamton just eight more points and took the set 25-18. Bryant went on to dominate the fourth and final frame. Jumping out to a 10-6 advantage, the Bulldogs came out solid and never looked back. Bryant controlled the game from the start and outscored BU by 11 points to win the four-game series.
Over the course of the weekend, Alicea led the team with 42 points and 36 kills in three matches. Junior outside hitter Erin Shultz recorded a total 25 kills.
“They’ve been consistent on the outside for us, both Erin and Gaby,” Kiriyama said. “They’ve got good experience. We just got to be able to get others involved a little bit better. They’re the ones that get most of the sets because the passes aren’t good enough to set anyone else. They’ve done well with what they’ve gotten, but we just got to hopefully control the ball a little bit better on our side to enable us to get some of the other hitters involved.”
This coming weekend, the Bearcats are set to compete in their first conference match of the season against Albany. Despite losing 10 series over the past few weeks, Kiriyama seemed optimistic about the beginning of conference play.
“We look forward to conference,” Kiriyama said. “We know every match is going to be a real battle for us. We have a good rivalry going with Albany. We won at each other’s place last year, so we know it’s going to be an equally tough match. Hopefully we’ll be able to play well with this atmosphere and we look forward to it.”
The Bearcats are slotted to face off with the Great Danes this Friday. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. from the University Gym in Albany, New York.