Sept. 21, 2007
Providence, RI - It was a bittersweet home opener for the Brown volleyball team (1-6) on Friday night, as the Bears dropped a fiercely contested 3-1 match to a solid Stony Brook squad (9-6), 30-25, 26-30, 30-28, 30-25. A fired-up Pizzitola Center crowd got a solid performance from its home team on the first night of the Brown Invitational, and at times seemed to gave the players a boost, particularly in the second and third games.
Freshman middle blocker Danielle Vaughan (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA) continued her development into a force on the front line, finishing with eight total blocks, including four solo efforts. Senior middle blocker Julie Mandolini-Trummel (Crystal Lake, IL) contributed four total blocks, one solo, and junior right-side hitter Lillie Cohn (Seattle, WA) had three block assists to contribute to a 19-14 Bear advantage in blocks.
The Seawolves had a higher hitting percentage in all four games, a large part in their victory. Still, freshman outside hitter Megan Toman (Newport Beach, CA) had a 17-kill performance, with a solid .293 hitting percentage (17-5-41). Fellow frosh Brianna Williamson (Cincinnati, OH) was impressive in the fourth game in her only action, as she had four kills and one error in seven attempts for a .429 hitting percentage while taking Cohn's spot in the rotation.
On the back line, senior captain Katie Lapinski (Niles, IL) led the way again, this time with 19 digs, while junior Lyndse Yess (Eugene, OR) turned in a double-double with 14 digs and 10 kills. Senior Rachel Lipman (San Diego, CA) was the third Bear in double-figures, with 11 digs. Junior Natalie Meyers (Seal Beach, CA) had 46 assists while setting the offense.
After an inconsistent performance in the first game, in which five service errors by Brown made the difference, Bruno got things together in game two. The teams exchanged three-point leads before Brown took command, winning three rallies to go up 23-19 and hold on for the win. That set up the third game to be the turning point of the match, and the frame was tied as late as 27-27. However, it was Stony Brook that got the next two points on a kill and a block, and after an error gave Brown the serve with the score 29-28, a kill by Seawolf senior Morgan Sweany iced the game. The fourth game was tight early, but a six-point Stony Brook run midway through led to a three-point lead that slowly increased to five as the game ended.
The Sea wolves were led by Sweany and grad student Jackie Ahlers, who had 18 and 17 kills, respectively. Junior Noelle Bay had 15 digs, followed by Sweany and senior Kaitlyn Deutsch with 14 each. Deutch had 53 assists as well.
In earlier action, Central Connecticut State and Portland opened the Brown Invitational with a five-game marathon, with CCSU eventually took 26-30, 30-18, 30-22, 25-30, 19-17. The Blue Devils' Lauren Snyder led all players with 20 kills, while libero Kaitlin Petrella had 31 digs. The match got sloppy at times, as the teams combined for 22 service errors and 21 service aces. Maria Clemens had 18 kills to lead the Pilots, while libero Danielle Dupar had 15 digs to lead for Portland players in double-digits.
On Saturday, the Invitational concludes with four matches, all of which will be streamed live on Brownbears.com.