Aug. 30, 2014
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Chicago, Ill. - The Stony Brook volleyball team showed its depth and grit in a 3-1 (22-25, 25-15, 32-30, 25-22) win over DePaul to kick off the 2014 season Friday night.
Junior outside hitter Melissa Rigo posted a team-high 15 kills and hit .367, and redshirt senior middle blocker Evann Slaughter tallied 11 kills in her return to the court from a torn ACL. Redshirt junior Libero Lo Hathaway paced the Seawolves defensively with a match-high 16 digs. Setters Hannah Dolan and Nicole Vogel finished with 21 assists and 18 assists, respectively.
Head Coach Coley Pawlikowski's Reaction
"Tonight was a nice way to start the season. We started a little jittery, and it was good to see the student-athletes settle in, trust the system and find their confidence. It was great to see Evann [Slaughter] back on the floor after redshirting last year. She opened up her senior season with a gigantic block in the first couple of points and from there on helped to lead her team with positive energy. Dani [Nizich] made her collegiate debut doing a solid job helping Lo [Hathaway] anchor down the defense. It was good to see our group keep our composure, dig our heels in and storm back from a big fourth-set deficit. Pushing back when we are down is something that we have talked about and focused on improving, so our staff was proud to see us make a step tonight and prove we can be the aggressor. We `out-fanned' them, nearly doubling their attendance with family and friends!! Our Seawolves really fed off the energy from our fans when they surged back from a 12-4 deficit in the fourth set. The crowd was rowdy, and our student-athletes said it was one of the best our team has played in front of--all the way out here in Chicago!"
- DePaul (0-1) took a 16-11 lead in the first set, but Stony Brook (1-0) stormed back and scored the next six points to go ahead, 17-16, on an ace by Dolan. The Blue Demons asked for time and rallied out of the huddle, tallying nine of the final 15 points for a 25-22 win.
- Stony Brook came out strong in the second stanza and took a 13-7 advantage when Taylor Gillie capped a 4-0 run with a slam. The hosts hung around, pulling to within one, 15-14, on a block. However, Gillie again put the team on her back, scoring a kill and an ace as part of a 10-1 run that won the second set.
- The third set was a back-and-forth affair with neither side able to claim more than a three-point advantage. With her team down 25-24, Kathy Fletcher kept Stony Brook afloat with a kill to even the score at 25-25. DePaul put the Seawolves on the ropes again by scoring a kill, but a Fletcher smack and Blue Demons attack error gave the Seawolves a 26-25 edge. Both sides continued to hang in there and make gutsy plays to stave off a third-stanza defeat. SBU fell behind, 30-29, but DePaul committed a service error. Stephanie McFadden took advantage of the momentum swing with an ace, and the hosts committed an attack error as Stony Brook came away with a thrilling, gutsy 32-30 win for a 2-1 lead.
- The home team raced out to a 17-11 lead in the fourth set, but Fletcher stopped the bleeding with a kill. Gillie followed with an ace, and the Blue Demons committed an error to get SBU within three, 17-14. After a DePaul kill, Stony Brook rattled off five unanswered points to take its first advantage of the set, 19-18, on a Rigo ace. A seesaw affair ensued thereafter, with the Blue Demons reclaiming the lead, 21-20, on a kill. SBU dug deep and punctuated a 4-0 run on a Slaughter slam to go ahead, 24-21. DePaul got the next point, but Vogel set up Fletcher for a smack as the Seawolves completed the unlikely comeback for the win.
By the Numbers
- A second team all-conference pick last season, McFadden finished with an impressive 10 kills and a team-high four service aces.
- Gillie led Stony Brook with four blocks, three of which were assisted.
- Fletcher was second on the team with nine digs.
- After hitting .038 in the first set, Stony Brook finished with a .285 hitting percentage. The Seawolves hit .385 in the fourth stanza.
- Stony Brook, which finished 10th in the nation in aces last season, held a commanding 17-8 lead in aces Friday.
News and Notes
- This was the first meeting between the two teams.
- The Seawolves are 2-0 in openers under Pawlikowski after going 0-6 in the six seasons prior to her arrival.
- Dani Nizich and Melann Amory made their Stony Brook debuts. Nizich had six digs and one kill and Amory scooped up two digs.
The Seawolves conclude play at the DePaul Invite Saturday with matches against Hampton and Bradley at 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., respectively.