Volleyball earns No. 1 seed with sweep of Northeastern
The Pride volleyball team swept Northeastern University on Senior Day to close out their regular season in astounding fashion, winning the sets 25-19, 26-24 and 25-20.
With the victory, Hofstra closed their regular season on a seven-game win streak and earned the No. 1 seed in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Conference Tournament for the first time since 2006.
“It is absolutely a great thing. We have worked as a team so hard to make this a successful year, so it is a great thing to be there as the one seed,” said Hofstra head coach Emily Mansur. “We have a lot of work ahead of us as we head to the championship next week.”
The Pride found themselves down 24-19 in the second set when Mansur used a timeout to regroup. After the timeout, junior Ana Martinovic entered the gamed to serve and the Pride went on a seven-point run to take the second set 26-24.
“I think a big thing was bringing in Martinovic to serve,” Mansur said. “She had a big run for us and made them uncomfortable. It really helped us get the win.”
The first and third sets were easier wins for the Pride, as their relatively higher attacking efficiency allowed both sets to be won by at least five points.
Nanishka Perez and Michela Rucli each had 11 kills for Hofstra, while Athena Ardila led Northeastern with 12.
Hofstra’s Luisa Sydlik once again played her role as the key distributor, dealing out a clear game-high 41 assists in the three sole sets.
As usual for senior days, Hofstra’s four seniors, – Doris Bogoje, Perez, Caylie Denham and Rucli – each played their final home game for the Pride.
“It’s a really, really special class. We have had wonderful seniors go through our program,” Mansur said. “This class was our first full recruiting class (as a staff) and it is beautiful to see them finish in such a great way.”
The senior group, who came to Hofstra the year after Mansur won her first and only CAA Championship with the Pride, have been heavy contributors since 2015, and with the tournament just days away, hope to end their Hofstra tenure by giving their coach her second trophy in five years.
The Pride will begin their run towards the conference championship Saturday, Nov. 17, and they will look to use the momentum they have built all season to carry them.
“Every match this year has prepared us. We know every team is going to be a little bit better and we need to get there,” Mansur said. “Everybody is going to be the same at the CAA.”
The Pride will travel to Charleston, South Carolina for the CAA tournament which begins with Towson and Northeastern facing off in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Photo courtesy of Hofstra Athletics