After going winless at the Buffalo Invite last weekend, the Binghamton volleyball team earned a 3-0 sweep against Le Moyne on Tuesday evening in front of its home crowd at West Gym.
“I want more intensity in general for us as a team,” said Binghamton head coach Allie Yaeger. “[The starting unit] talked really well. They communicate and everybody knows what the main goals are so when they go out on the floor they know what we’re trying to do every single time.”
The Dolphins (0-6) entered the match looking for their first win of the 2023 season against BU (4-3). After Le Moyne took the first point of the match, Binghamton began to get in a groove, scoring five straight points to take a 5-1 lead. Le Moyne, however, was able to cut into the Bearcat lead, tying the set at 10-10. Despite relinquishing their advantage, BU did not let the Dolphins take the lead. Not long after, the Bearcats went on an 11-1 run to go up 20-11. After this run, Binghamton didn’t look back and took the opening set of the match 25–14.
“We were able to get other players in that don’t necessarily see some playing time,” Yaeger said. “We kind of went outside of our comfort zone on a lot of things which I was really pushing.”
Binghamton continued to build on its momentum from the first set, going on a 7-2 run to begin the second set. The Bearcats would go on to increase their lead to eight, forcing Le Moyne to burn its first timeout of the match. Coming out of the time out with the score at 12-4, BU’s offense proved to be too much for the Dolphins as the home team increased its lead to 10 with the score at 22-12, their largest lead of the second set. BU secured the second set of the match 25-13 and headed into the third set looking for a 3-0 sweep.
“I didn’t care about the other side of the net after coming off of an 0-3 weekend like we did,” Yaeger said. “I really care about us and working to get better.”
The third and final set of the match opened with BU and Le Moyne exchanging points. However, after the 2-2 mark, Binghamton began to pull away, going on an 8-1 run to take a 10-3 lead. Le Moyne did not give up however, cutting the BU lead to just one, with the score at 13-12 in favor of the Bearcats. Despite cutting the Bearcat lead to one, that was the closest that the Dolphins would get as BU began to pull away once again. With the score at 24-18 and the crowd on its feet, senior outside hitter Tsvetelina Ilieva recorded a kill to secure the win for the Bearcats.
“[The team] is hungry for a win,” Yaeger said. “Staying focused was a big thing for us tonight.”
Ilieva spearheaded the Bearcats’ offense, recording a season-high 18 kills while hitting .552. The Bearcat also registered six aces in the win. As a team, BU hit .352 while Le Moyne was held to just a .081 hitting percentage in the match.
“Consistency, from [Ilieva], you always kind of know what you’re going to get for the most part,” Yaeger said. “For her to be a go-to player, and there were a lot of times where we were in a tough situation and [Le Moyne] went on a two, three-point run and we know that we can get the ball to [Ilieva] and she’ll put it away for us.”
Binghamton will compete at the Lehigh Steel Classic hosted by Lehigh, beginning on Friday, Sept. 8. First serve is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Leeman-Turner Arena in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.