WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The Hartford volleyball team dropped a four-set decision to the visiting Stony Brook Seawolves on Senior Day at the Reich Family Pavilion as the Hawks honored their lone senior Kami Nethersole prior to the match. Hartford falls to 8-16 overall and 2-6 in America East.
Nethersole and younger sister Sareeta Nethersole combined to lead the Hawks with 28 total kills. The younger of the siblings finished with a team-best 5 kills, while elder sister Kami finished with 13. Kami led the pair, and the team, with a .237 hitting average suffering just four errors in 38 total attacks. (Sareeta) Nethersole finished with seven errors in 52 total attempts for a .154 average.
Joining the pair in leading the Hawks was junior Taylor McCreery and sophomore Kathryn Gawrych who each finished with six kills. Sophomore setter Jackie Tamburri finished with 33 assists, while leading the Hawks on the defensive end with her team-leading 14th double double of the season and third-straight. Junior Dionna Kirton joined her with double figure kills, closing out the match with 12.
The Hawks struggled to find an offensive rhythm through the first two sets, holding just one early lead in the opening set after taking the first point of the match. After swapping the next three points, the Seawolves began to build a lead they wouldn't relinquish, using a four-point rally to take a 14-8 lead on back-to-back errors against the Hawks. Three kills over the final five points of the set, two of which came from the Seawolves leader Melissa Rigo, closed out the set and the early Stony Brook lead.
The Hawks never saw a lead in the second set after Stony Brook jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage and never looked back. A seven point rally early in the second set put things well in favor of the Seawolves as they finished that scurry with an 11-2 advantage. The Hawks would attempt a late run on a kill from Gawrych, an ace for Lindsay Compton and an error against the Seawolves but could only get as close as 17-10. Back-to-back kills from Evann Slaughter closed out the set and gave Stony Brook a 2-0 lead going into the intermission.
After holding an early 2-1 advantage in the third set, the Seawolves began to pull away with three small runs and an eventual six-point scamper that gave them a 19-9 lead. The Hawks didn't give up easily slowly chipping away at that lead until a late 12-1 run gave Hartford a 23-22 lead. A kill from the Seawolves only senior Greta Strenger broke up that run and after trading the next two points the Hawks used kills from (Sareeta) Nethersole and McCreery to ignite the crowd and score their first point in the match.
The final set saw a total of five ties and two lead changes, with the Hawks opening up the early lead in the set with a 6-3 advantage courtesy of a four point rally. That lead was made possible thanks to a kill and ace from Kirton and a kill from (Kami) Nethersole.
Stony Brook began to chip into the lead with small two-point rallies that led to an eventual 9-9 stalemate before a four-point run gave the Seawolves a 13-10 lead they wouldn't relinquish. Three more runs of three point each allowed Stony Brook to extend its led to as much as seven before Strenger closed out the match with a kill.
Hartford will play its final four matches of the season on the road, beginning with a two-game swing through Binghamton and Baltimore. The first match in that trip will be a Friday night (Nov. 2) battle with the Binghamton Bearcats in Vestal, N.Y. before traveling to UMBC for a Sunday afternoon (Nov. 4) matinee.