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Volleyball racking up wins early on in the season

Chris Owens/Hofstra Chronicle Freshman Brianna Montgomery in mid-serve during the course of the match.

By Mike Rudin - Sports Editor

Hofstra is hitting a major hot streak, sweeping the St. Francis Terrier Invitational and shutting out Stony Brook. The Pride shut out their last four opponents, consecutively won their last 12 sets and the team improved to 7-1 overall.

Defense was the name of the game for the Pride against Stony Brook. Sophia Black led the team with 13 digs. The key factor that aided the Pride was the solid group performance tacking on digs: nine by Hannah Klemm, eight by Kelsie Wills, seven by Brianna Montgomery and six by Corrina Delgadillo.

The momentum shifted perfectly for the Pride going into the St. Francis Terrier Invitational. Facing St. Francis first, the Pride consistently won each set with some elbow room, winning by five or more points in all three sets.

Despite the Pride putting up a season-low 38 kills, the Pride defense held their own against the Terriers putting up 46 digs and six blocks as a team. Corrina Delgadillo came out of nowhere leading the Pride with a season-high 17 digs. Kelsie Wills was second in digs with eight, then Brianna Montgomery and Sophia Black came in third with six digs for the night.

Hofstra’s next match in the Invitational against Manhattan College went swimmingly, scoring 43 kills with a shooting average at 71 percent. One noticeable factor in the game was the consistency between each set offensively for the Pride. The Pride performed well, keeping the kills and shooting percentage dispersed evenly.

Veronika Kostova was the most valuable player when the Pride played the New Jersey Institute of Technology and led the team with 14 kills without committing a single error. She helped out on the defensive side putting up three block assists. Hofstra managed to outscore NJIT by at least eight points each set.

Hofstra hosted the ASICS Invitational last week and made a statement by starting the 2014 season by consecutively winning the first three matches against St. Francis, Lafayette and Quinnipiac.

The significance of the Invitational not only reflects on the ability of the team early into the season, but also shows how the team works together under their new head coach Emily Mansur.

The Pride faced St. Francis Brooklyn in the season opener and defeated the Terriers three sets to one. Hofstra currently stands 22-11 in team history for the season opener and remain undefeated against St. Francis 7-0 in franchise history.

Kelsie Wills led the Pride with 21 kills, placed fourth in digs with eight for the season opener and was tied for third in block assists with Adama Aja, each having three. Nuria Lopes Da Silva

stepped up, scoring the second most kills with 10 and leading the team with five block assists by the end of the match.

Hofstra repeated the same outcome against Lafayette College, winning three sets to one. These teams haven’t played each other since 1995 but the Pride continued their success against Lafayette, improving to 10-1.

Even though the team won the game, the Pride still had some inconsistency issues, with their shooting percentage overall at .211 for the game. The offense wasn’t able to produce much, especially with Kelsie Wills putting up only 11 kills during the night.

  “The trying of new things, until the ladies can use to running the fast ball and being able to be attacked without the fear of being blocked, we are going to have some up and downs,” said Mansur.

Veronika Kostova did well for the Pride, leading the team with 12 kills that night. The team as a whole also did well on the defensive side with 57 digs: 15 from Sophia Black, 12 from Brianna Montgomery and 11 from Kelsie Wills.

The highlight for the Pride at the invitational was shutting out Quinnipiac University three sets to none. Kelsie Wills led the team in kills with 14, Burke came in second with nine and Veronica Kostova was third in kills with seven in the match. Sophia Black continued to lead the team in digs with 10.

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