#Seawolves challenge No. 1 New Hampshire in America East Semifinals Friday
Nov. 21, 2013
Durham, N.H. – The No. 4 Stony Brook volleyball team will take on regular season champion No. 1 New Hampshire Friday at 7 p.m. in the America East Championship semifinals.
Last Time Out
Taylor Gillie recorded 12 kills on .476 hitting and chipped in five blocks, while Stephanie McFadden hit .471 with 10 kills and a match-high eight stuffs as Stony Brook (16-16, 9-5 America East) took down Providence, 3-1, Sunday, Nov. 17 in Rhode Island. Nicole Vogel notched her first double-double of the season with 20 assists and 11 digs, and Lo Hathaway led the Seawolves with 21 digs.
Scouting the Wildcats
New Hampshire clinched its first America East regular-season title with a five-set win over Albany at home Friday, Nov. 15 and is making its fourth appearance in the championship in the last five years. The Wildcats’ 12-2 conference record is their third-best in conference history. They lead the league in hitting percentage at .204, while senior Destiny Tolliver tops the conference in blocks per set at 1.03. Morgan Thatcher is the team’s biggest offensive threat, averaging 3.06 kills per set, while Madison Lightfoot leads in digs per set at 4.54.
Stony Brook and New Hampshire split the season series, with the Seawolves winning a five-set thriller at Pritchard Oct. 4 before falling in three on the Nov. 10. SB is 17-13 all-time against UNH.
The Seawolves have their best winning percentage in conference play since going 11-1 (.917) and winning the program’s lone regular season conference title in 2007. It is the third-best AE winning percentage for Stony Brook, which also went 10-4 (.714) in 2003. Stony Brook took down Princeton and Syracuse for the first time in program history this year, with the win over the ACC’s Orange giving the Seawolves their first victory over a power-conference opponent since defeating Baylor in 2007.
Aces are Wild
Stony Brook has ranked among the nation’s best in aces per set all season. The Seawolves entered the week at 10th out of 332 Division I teams and first in the conference at 1.72 aces per set. Stephanie McFadden and Hannah Dolan lead the league and are 23rd and 27th, respectively, at .42 and .41 aces per set.
Sophomore captain Lo Hathaway has been the Seawolves’ defensive anchor all season. She is currently fifth all-time in Stony Brook single-season history with 518 digs and is poised to finish the year in the program’s top 10 in digs per set for the second time in her career. She is fifth in the league and tied with her own 2011 mark at sixth all-time at 4.25 digs per set.
Kaitlin’s Killin’ It
Kaitlin Costello has saved her best season for last. The senior outside hitter leads Stony Brook with 15 double-doubles and sits at the top of the conference with 3.19 kills per set. Great on the serve, she is ninth in the America East with .29 aces per set.
Sophomore Melissa Rigo is producing another fine season for the Seawolves. An outside hitter and 2012 America East Rookie of the Year, Rigo is in the conference’s top 10 in kills (5th, 2.73), digs (13th, 2.80) and hitting percentage (20th, .183).
#Seawolves Block Party
Stony Brook ranks second in the league in blocks at 1.96 per set, while Stephanie McFadden is second individually and Taylor Gillie is eighth at 1.01 and .80 stuffs per stanza, respectively. On Nov. 5 against Sacred Heart, McFadden became Stony Brook’s all-time Division I leader in single-season block assists, passing Tesha Harry’s previous mark of 92, which she set in 2003. McFadden is fourth overall on the Seawolves’ single-season block assist ledger with 109.
The winner will play No. 3 Albany or No. 2 UMBC in the America East finals.