Fletcher's happy homecoming lifts #Seawolves to Saturday split at DePaul Invite

Fletcher paced Stony Brook in kills in both matches Saturday
Aug. 30, 2014

Bradley Box | Hampton Box 

Chicago, Ill. - The Stony Brook volleyball team recovered from a three-set loss to Hampton (25-18, 25-16, 25-19) earlier in the day and ended competition at the DePaul Invite on a high note with a 3-2 victory over Bradley (22-25, 25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 15-11).

Playing in front of family and friends, West Chicago, Ill, native and redshirt junior Kathy Fletcher totaled 29 kills, including a match-high 18 kills against Bradley. Fletcher, who averaged 2.75 kills and 1.92 digs per set over the three-match span, was named to the All-Tournament team. 

Junior outside hitter Melissa Rigo notched her first double-double of the year in the nightcap on 14 kills and 10 digs. She tallied five digs against Hampton. Redshirt senior middle blocker Evann Slaughter recorded double-figure kills for the second time in three matches with 10 vs. Bradley.

Stony Brook improved to 2-1 on the season and came in second to Hampton (3-0) in the tournament. 

Head Coach Coley Pawlikowski's Reaction

"We played very skilled and well-rounded volleyball. This morning, Hampton just played smarter and more aggressive than we did. Hampton did a good job of controlling the match, and that's something we need to improve on. However, we were very pleased to see how our team was able to rally and pull out a gutsy five-setter against Bradley this evening. We were able to battle back when we trailed without getting rattled and push. It was a FUN match in front of another AWESOME home-team crowd! The energy and effort was there tonight, and it is great to see our team rewarded for their efforts. Coming off this weekend 2-1 is a good feeling, and we are really proud of all 16 of our student-athletes. 16 strong is our focus and it was a good opening weekend for our program. There are plenty of areas to learn from and improve upon as we continue to grow!" 

Hampton Recap

  • Despite an impressive seven kills by Fletcher, the Seawolves never led in the opening stanza but did stay close early on. Kills by Stephanie McFadden and Rigo brought them to within one, 13-12, but Hampton scored the next six points.
  • The Pirates carried the momentum from the first frame into the second for a 25-16 win that put SBU on the ropes.
  • Hampton jetted out to an 11-6 advantage in the third set. Stony Brook came alive thereafter, starting with a Slaughter smack that broke up a 4-0 Pirates spurt. Two Hampton miscues and another Slaughter slam later, the Seawolves found themselves down only two, 11-9.  The Pirates tallied six of the next nine points to widen the gap to 17-12, but Stony Brook roared back and sliced the deficit to two, 18-16, when Rigo notched an ace. McFadden answered a Hampton point with a kill to keep the margin at two, 19-17; however, that's as close as the Seawolves would get as the Pirates ended the match on a 6-2 run.

Bradley Recap

  • Stony Brook took a 6-2 advantage in the first frame on a McFadden stuff, but Bradley came back with a 13-3 run for a 15-9 lead on an ace. SBU continued to battle but could not retake the lead.  
  •  In a back-and-forth second stanza, SBU claimed a 19-16 edge on back-to-back kills by McFadden. Moments later, a Rigo smack put the Seawolves in front, 20-18, but the Braves evened things up at 20-all to set up an exciting finish. Pawlikowski asked for time with the score knotted at 22-22, and Slaughter hammered one home to give Stony Brook a one-point advantage, 23-22, out of the huddle. Bradley tied it, 23-23, on a kill, but a Fletcher kill and ace sealed the Seawolves win.  
  • The third set was just as thrilling and competitive as the second, and Stony Brook went ahead, 23-20, when Slaughter scored a kill. Bradley scored the next two to cut the lead to one and force Pawlikowski to call timeout. Slaughter responded with a smack out of the huddle. The Braves tallied a kill on the next rally, but Fletcher again proved to be the difference-maker, hammering one home to give SBU a third-set victory.
  • Bradley flipped the script and scored a 25-23 triumph in a seesaw fourth frame to set up a winner-take-all fifth set. With Stony Brook in front, 3-2, early on, Fletcher scored a kill to start a string of four unanswered points. The Braves got back on the board and pulled to within 7-3 with a kill, but SBU tallied five of the next seven points for a commanding 12-5 lead. Bradley hung around and was within 14-11 after a 3-0 run, but Rigo locked up the win with a smack.

By the Numbers

  • Fletcher's 11 kills against Hampton came on .320 hitting.
  • Senior middle blocker Taylor Gillie recorded 16 kills Saturday, including nine kills on .400 hitting against Hampton. She had six blocks in the win over Bradley.
  • Junior setter Nicole Vogel recorded team bests of 20 helpers and 32 helpers against Hampton and Bradley, respectively. Dolan finished with 15 assists vs. Hampton and 20 assists vs. Bradley.
  • Stony Brook hit a stellar .421 in the deciding fifth set against Bradley.
  • The Seawolves owned a 10-5 advantage in blocks vs. the Braves.

News and Notes

  • This was the first time Stony Brook faced either team at the Division I level.
  • SBU has started 2-1 in each of Pawlikowski's first two seasons.
  • The trip was a homecoming for Illinois natives Pawlikowski, Fletcher and freshman Abby Hickey.

Up Next

Stony Brook renews its rivalry with Hofstra in the first meeting between the two Long Island schools since 2009 Wednesday in Hempstead, N.Y. Opening serve is slated for 7 p.m.