By Angelo Brussich, Staff Writer
The women of Hofstra's volleyball team had a disheartening weekend, losing two games to conference opponents and evening up its record on the year at 11-11 and dropping to 2-3 in Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) conference play.
The Pride's once powerful home advantage has also taken a hit as they have lost three of four at home, bringing its record to 7-3 at the Physical Education Building.
The first game for the Pride was against the Georgia State Panthers, who were coming into the game with an 8-12 record with a 2-1 mark in conference play.
Set one was a tight fought battle with the Panthers coming away with a narrow 25-22 win.
Hofstra was leading midway through the set 18-16, but the Panthers rode a 9-4 run to cap off the set.
The second set was a dominant performance by the Panthers controlling play and putting the Pride away with a 25-15 victory.
Hofstra finally came away with a success in the third set with a 25-23 victory. The Pride won the close back and forth set with the aid of its highest hitting percentage of the game at a .225 clip.
The score was even at twenty-three before Hofstra standout sophomore Nikki Kinnier slammed home a kill to give Hofstra the lead for good. Kinnier had sixteen kills for the Pride in the set while also adding ten digs.
Any momentum gained by the third set victory was washed away early in the fourth set as Georgia State erased a five all tie with another impressive points streak, this time scoring five straight points to give them the 10-5 advantage in the game en route to a 25-20 victory.
"Our serving and our passing was just not where it needed to be," said head coach Kristina Hernandez, "A lot of serving errors gives very little room for other mistakes."
Other good performance for Hofstra included junior setter Catalina Charry, who lead the game with 46 assists while also pitching in 13 digs and five blocks. Junior libero Kylee Maneja chipped in with a match high 19 digs.
Hofstra had a chance to put the loss behind them early with a quick turnaround against another conference opponent in the UNC-Wilmington Seahawks.
Set one saw the Pride come through with a 25-18 victory while holding the Seahawks to a .032 hitting percentage.
Set two brought an even more potent defense in the Pride as it won the set 25-21, limiting the Seahawks to another low hitting percentage of .040.
An intense back and forth third set came down to the final few points. The game extended past the 25 point victory mark as the teams continued their tug of war match. Hofstra had a chance to end the set and the match when they had taken a 28-27 lead, but could not put the game away and they would eventually fall 30-28.
"What we were doing right in the first two sets we didn't do well in the third set." said Hernandez.
The fourth set included two lead changes and eight tie scores, one of them coming at 24, as Kinnier again came through with an impressive kill when the Pride needed it most.
Kinnier again lead the Pride in kills with 18, but her impressive game was again for not as Hofstra fell short in the fourth set on an attack error by the Pride.
With the match tied up at 2-2, the Seahawks rode their momentum and jumped out to an early 4-1 lead and never looked back.
Hofstra closed the set to within three when it cut its deficit to 11-8, but the Seahawks maintained control and eventually won the match, capping a very impressive comeback, rallying from a 2-0 set deficit to win 3-2.
"It's more about what we're doing wrong now rather than the teams actually beating us," said Hernandez.