By Joe Pantorno, Sports Editor
The Hofstra University volleyball team improved to 7-0 on the season after taking down Rutgers University three sets to one.
"My team did a really great job because we really weren't at our best tonight," said head coach Kristina Hernandez. "We had some lulls where we just had silly errors and we did a really good job of just responding and just kind of getting the next point.
Hernandez was not in such light spirits after a 25-23 first set loss as star outside hitter, sophomore Nikki Kinnear was held to just one kill.
Though they could not will the squad to a first set victory, a certain set of Colombian sisters started to take the match over and build the Pride's confidence.
Senior middle blocker Erika Charry and junior sister and setter Catalina, bolstered down the Pride's shaky start. With seven kills through two sets, Erika was leading the team's attack while Catalina was delivering sets that were worthy of being on a silver platter, which helped the likes of Kinnear and freshman outside hitter Kelsie Wills shine.
"They [the Charry's] definitely bring a great spark. They bring a lot of intensity and energy and they want to be enthusiastic on every single point," said Hernandez. "Catalina is going to find some way to win and they are going to keep going into the players and she puts a lot of pressure on the hitters to put the ball down but them being a middle and a center combo and having them on the court at the same time is definitely a nice thing to have.
After taking a closely contested second set 25-22 that saw Kinnear record six kills, the Pride went down early in the third set 5-1. The Charry sisters provided that much needed spark not only offensively, but they were also keeping Rutgers' hitters at bay with some great defense along with junior libero Kylee Maneja.
A 25-15 victory to go up two sets to one on the night was followed up by another slow start in the fourth set. Once again though, the Pride picked its game up, this time through its services.
"I think the big thing for us was how aggressively they served," said Hernandez. "I think it really put some big pressure on Rutgers and I think that was a big difference for us."
The Charry's continued to wreak havoc on the Scarlet Knights as Erika and Kinnear led the squad with 13 kills on the night, with Wills collecting 12 of her own.
The Pride was able to breeze to a 25-17 victory in the fourth and final set as the team looks to its first road trip of the season at Missouri State for the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Invitational.