Madi Bell led the UMass Lowell offense with seven kills (Courtesy of UMass Lowell Athletics)
The UMass Lowell volleyball team (1-14, 0-2) lost 3-0 in their America East home opener against the Stony Brook Seawolves (8-8, 2-0) Friday, Sep. 28 at the Costello Athletic Center. The River Hawks played their first home match for the first time after 14 straight road matches to open the season.
“We really have to work on our defense that was a big factor today. Stony Brook is a great offensive team. They always hit high percentages, but we didn’t make adjustments defensively,” said UMass Lowell head coach Resa Provanzano.
Senior libero Lindsey Visvardis amassed 11 digs in the match. Junior outside hitter Madi Bell led the River Hawks with seven kills. Redshirt sophomore setter Malia Randolph and junior setter McKenna Bova combined for a total of 22 assists in the match.
Stony Brook took a 14-5 lead early in the first set to open the match. Coach Provanzano tried to control the tempo of the match calling two timeouts to keep her team composed and focused.
The Seawolves did not give up their lead in the first set. Sophomore middle blocker Jessica Jubb led the River Hawks attack with three kills. Visvardis recorded four digs for the River Hawks. However, the River Hawks committed seven errors in the first set. Stony Brook won the first set 25-10.
The second set was a back-and-forth affair between both teams. Freshman libero Sabrina Patriciello led Stony Brook on a rally that gave the Seawolves a 16-8 advantage. Stony Brook kept their lead and won the second set 25-11.
Visvardis led UMass Lowell’s defense in the second set with four digs, but nine errors for the River Hawks hurt their chances to come back in the second set.
The River Hawks went off to a poor start in the third set starting out 8-0 down. UMass Lowell fought their way back with their best offensive performance of the night. Junior outside hitter and sophomore middle blocker Grace Burkett led the way hitting four kills each. Randolph contributed on both ends providing six assists and amassing five digs.
“In that third set, [junior outside hitter] Kathrine Claybaugh really turned it on for us. [Senior middle blocker] Lade [Adeniyi] came back out there and finished strong, and it was good to see the leaders come in and step up a little bit,” said Coach Provanzano.
UMass Lowell fought until the end but lost the third and final set 25-17. The River Hawks had 13 kills in the set but also had 10 errors in the set.
Coach Provanzano credited the team’s change in mentality that led to a better offensive performance in the third set.
The whole match we were playing tentative and safe which resulted in errors. Once they took the pressure off themselves and played relaxed it got a little better,” said Coach Provanzano.
The River Hawks will return to action at home against Hartford at Sunday 1 p.m. They will then go on a two-game road trip against Binghamton and UMBC and come back home for homecoming/alumni night against the University of Albany.