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Bearcats drop AEast match to SeaWolves

STONY BROOK, N.Y.Binghamton (6-18, 4-6 AE) lost a tough five set America East conference match on the road at Stony Brook (13-14, 7-3 AE) Sunday afternoon from Pritchard Gymnasium. Both teams battled in a match that spanned over two hours as the Bearcats were unable to fend off a late Stony Brook rally, falling 29-27, 20-25, 26-24, 14-25 and 12-15.

Four Binghamton players reached the double-digit kills mark, led by sophomore Megan Burgess 16 terminations. Freshman Allison Hovie had 13 kills and seven digs, while senior OH Grace Vickers also registered 13 kills in the losing effort.

In the opening frame, the host Seawolves jumped ahead 6-3 on a service ace from Kathy Fletcher. However, Binghamton fought back just moments later with a block-assist from Kristin Hovie and Vickers, followed by a kill from Burgess which leveled the score even at eight. The Bearcats found themselves down by as much as six (19-13), but staged a comeback that seemed to stun the hosts.

Down 21-19, a kill from Kristin Hovie, one of her four in the first set, set the tone. Younger sister Allison Hovie came up big in a pressured situation just moments later, slamming a kill that knotted things up at 25 apiece. After both teams traded points, a Burgess winner gave the visitors a one point lead at 28-27 and a block-assist from Kristin Hovie and Shannon Kirkpatrick secured the first set win for the Bearcats. Grace Vickers was one of four BU players to notch four kills in the first set and junior Amanda Dettmann dished out 18 of her 55 assists on the day in the comeback triumph.

In the second set, Binghamton seemed to carry the momentum early on. Dettmann placed a dump shot out of the reach of multiple SBU defenders to give the visitors an early 8-4 lead. After a timeout, Stony Brook regained their footing by going on a 9-1 run, giving them a 15-11 advantage. BU was able to cut the deficit to as little as just two after a Kristin Hovie kill, but thats as close as they would get. Seven kills from Kaitlin Costello powered Stony Brook to a 25-20 second set victory as the two teams headed to intermission tied at one game apiece.

After the break, Binghamton kept their composure despite falling behind 6-1. The duo of Vickers and Burgess met Stony Brook at the net to record a block-assist, cutting the hosts lead to 14-10. Later in the set, Vickers struck once again with a kill up the middle that found an empty spot in the Seawolves zone. On the following play, Vickers helped out on a block-assist, putting the visitors behind just one at 20-19. A crucial ace from Dettmann finally put the Bearcats ahead 25-24 and a kill from Burgess down the far left corner punctuated the Bearcats third set win. The kill from Burgess was one of her three in the set.

Stony Brook took the fourth set in easy fashion, defeating the Bearcats 25-14. They never trailed in the set, recording 11 kills with a hitting percentage of .333 that forced a fifth and final set at a rowdy Pritchard Gymnasium.

The fifth set saw Binghamton go ahead quickly, securing a 4-0 lead thanks to three straight kills from Burgess. Allison Hovie added to Binghamtons lead with her kill as the teams switched sides with the score at 8-4 in favor of the visitors. However, Stony Brook had an answer with four straight points, capped off by an ace from Melissa Rigo. Kirkpatrick managed to stop the bleeding momentarily, her kill ended the 4-0 Stony Brook run.

Down the stretch, Binghamton tried to stay level as an acrobatic assist from Amanda Dettmann to a streaking Grace Vickers for the slam put BU down just one, 13-12. Despite their fight, the Bearcats came up short, committing a pair of errors that gave the Seawolves the five set victory and their seventh conference win of the season.

Costello notched a game-best 22 kills for SBU as they hit .295 as a team. Binghamton hit .216 on the afternoon and also contested well at the net, picking up 20 block-assists at the conclusion of Sundays game. Senior libero Xiomara Ortiz compiled a team-high 22 digs on the afternoon to headline the defense.
Up next for the Bearcats are a pair of home conference matchups with Hartford (Nov. 8) and Providence (Nov. 9). Binghamton fell to Hartford earlier this season in straight sets, but were victorious against Providence back on Oct. 4.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)

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