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Volleyball falls in final three sets in loss to Towson

Volleyball falls in final three sets in loss to Towson

The Pride volleyball team were defeated by Towson University Friday night, dropping a two-set advantage to fall in the fifth set.

“You give any team energy, they will take it and run with it,” said Hofstra volleyball head coach Emily Mansur.

That was the big takeaway of the game. Hofstra led two sets to nothing over the Tigers, and it looked like they were on track to win their third game in a row.

The first two sets were mainly one-sided, where the Pride established control and never let it go. An early and commanding 12-6 lead for Hofstra led to a 25-17 victory in the first set. 

The second set wasn’t as dominant for Hofstra. The beginning was very back and forth, but Hofstra had the lead for most of the set and started to run away with it when they expanded their lead to 18-12. There was no looking back from there as the Pride took the second set, 25-16.

With a 2-0 set lead for Hofstra, they had the momentum and needed just one more set to claim their victory over the Tigers, but Towson battled back.

Towson knew they had to win three sets in a row to win the game. However, to string any sort of comeback, they first had to win the third set.

The Tigers jumped out to an early 9-4 lead. They looked strong and confident despite the 2-0 hole. The lead rose to 20-11, with Towson soon holding on to win the third set, 25-18.

“We just couldn’t slow them down,” Mansur said. Hofstra had a difficult time slowing down the Tigers’ offense in the third set. Towson came out hot and won the third set with a purpose.

Still up 2-1, the Pride looked to end it in the fourth set, but Towson had all the momentum after winning that crucial third set and jumped out to a 10-2 lead.

With their backs against the wall, Hofstra fought back and showed a lot of resilience. From then on, the game was very tight the whole way through. The game was tied at 20, and then at 23. With the game on the line, Towson came up clutch and took the last two points. This locked up the fourth set victory for the Tigers, winning 25-23 in a nail-biter.

“We gotta execute and we gotta do our job. And unfortunately at the end when we needed to, we just didn’t do it,” Mansur said regarding the fourth set.

Despite a 23-21 lead in the end, the Pride couldn’t close it out, bringing them to a fifth and final set.

Like the third and fourth sets, Towson gained control again. They jumped out to an early lead and never let it get away from them. The Tigers landed an 11-7 lead and could feel a win right at their fingertips. The Pride couldn’t make a comeback and fell in the last set, 15-8, handing Towson a 3-2 victory in the game.  

“At that point, Towson played well. We didn’t ... and they won,” Mansur said.

Hofstra’s freshman Aisha Skinner and senior Michela Rucli were the Pride’s leading attackers.

Skinner had 19 kills and Rucli was right behind her with 15 kills. They also led the team in points, where Skinner had 19.5 and Rucli had 18.5.

Defensively, junior Luisa Sydlik and sophomore Ivania Ortiz each had 11 digs.

Hofstra came into the game with a 16-6 record, riding a two-game win streak.

Towson came in at 9-12. Despite their record being under 500, Towson still pulled off a huge road win Friday night. They will look to keep that going on Sunday when they take on Northeastern. 

For Hofstra, they have another home matchup on Sunday against James Madison. JMU and Hofstra are currently No. 1 and No. 2 in the CAA standings, so it will be a substantial game for both teams.

Photo Courtesy of Cam Keough / The Hofstra Chronicle

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