The River Hawks have a five-game slate of America East games ahead of them following their contest against Stony Brook (Courtesy of UMass Lowell Athletics)
With America East conference play heating up, the women’s volleyball team took on a strong, energetic Stony Brook University Seawolves in an attempt to break a lasting losing streak on “Dig Pink Night” at the Costello Athletic Center.
Both teams came out with a lot of energy attempting to break their matching (5-14) records; UMass Lowell was also on the hunt for its first conference win of the season. Despite a fierce effort UMass Lowell was unable to connect Friday night and was overtaken in three straight games.
“I think our team as a whole was a little disconnected tonight, so it’s going to be important for us to get back in the gym… and get synced” said River Hawk’s third year Head Coach Resa Provanzano.
The first set was fast paced. Early on, play was back and forth, but point by point Stony Brook gained ground. The game was stopped midway for an injury to Seawolves’ freshman defensive specialist and outside hitter Kardasia Hitchcock who fell face first into the bleachers attempting to keep the ball in play. The remainder of the set was defined by a stretch in which Stony Brook scored eight consecutive points.
The second set was more even with the serve switching sides incredibly frequently. UMass Lowell continued to have trouble stringing together points on the serve as the set went on.
“They were serving very aggressive. We were back on our heels a little bit serve/receive, and not adjusting to the different types of serves we were seeing. We just need to make some adjustments in passing” said Coach Provanzano.
The second set was again closed out with a quick string of points for the Seawolves that, despite a strong effort, UMass Lowell was unable to stop and come back from.
In the final set UMass Lowell came out hot. The team managed to hold off Stony Brook the best it had throughout the match. But, once again a couple of scoring rallies from the Seawolves, despite being split up by valiant River Hawk efforts, were deciding factors in the third game and the final result.
Friday’s game was Stony Brook’s second conference win. It was also their second win in seven days and a strong start to a two game road trip.
UMass Lowell, taking half of their last four America East games this season at home, looks to tighten things up and come out hard in the closing weeks of their season to register their first conference win of the season.
“It’s going to be important for us to get back in the gym tomorrow before our game Sunday against UMBC and get synced. We need to start with ourselves. We made a lot of unforced errors, and we’ve got to start there. Things we can control. Service and receive is going to be our focus” said Coach Provanzano.
The focus seems to be inward in the coming weeks. The team looks to make several improvements to their game-plan and communication during the short break between games, but also look to carry on with their strong effort to bring a few wins in the closing weeks.
“They really played hard. They were trying to find a way to make it happen out there tonight. It wasn’t quite syncing the right way, but they were all talking and trying to find the answers and I like to see that” said Coach Provanzano.