Volleyball shines at all positions in win against UNCW
After getting embarrassed early in the season against UNC-Wilmington (UNCW), revenge was on the Hofstra volleyball team’s mind heading into the game Saturday afternoon, Nov. 3. Unlike the first game, this time the Pride played at home, with the chance to beat their rivals and get back to their winning ways. They not only won, but did so in dominant fashion, sweeping the Seahawks in three sets, 25-17, 25-21 and 25-18.
“It’s a great win for the Hofstra volleyball program. Beating UNCW 3-0, it’s definitely a great feeling to have,” said head coach Emily Mansur.
The Pride won the first set in dominating fashion, 25-17. They displayed phenomenal teamwork and an urgency from the start that Mansur had been preaching since the very start of the season.
“I think the mindset has been to focus on us and to focus less on other teams. We can control the tempo of the match, and we came out ready to play,” Mansur said.
From running down balls sideline to sideline, to keeping their defense organized, the Pride had a bounce in their step right from the get-go. Hofstra’s constant energy continued into the second set, but as the set waned, they started to run out of steam and lost the same sharpness that had gotten them to that point.
“It’s about resetting the mindset. [I said], ‘Let’s go back to our game. We control the tempo, and we focus on [playing] Hofstra volleyball,” Mansur said.
Having gone from being up 23-15, to only being up 24-21, the second set was suddenly up in the air. With the match on its way to either a 2-0 Hofstra lead or a 1-1 tie, Aisha Skinner came up with a huge spike to hold off UNCW, giving Hofstra the vital two sets to nothing cushion that they almost let slip away.
“It was important for us to have our best players involved,” Mansur said. “Last time we played them, Aisha Skinner had a great match, but our outsides were not on point. Today, they stepped up and played really well, and we had everybody involved.”
Even when the Pride wasn’t at their best in this match, they still outplayed the Seahawks in every facet of the game. Particularly in kills and digs, Hofstra led 54 to 35, and 63-41, respectively. Even more impressive was the fact that the Pride had four players with 10 or more kills.
“That’s a beautiful thing, and that’s our goal: to get more and more players involved so we don’t know who the ball is going to,” Mansur said. “As a team, we embrace each other, and every single player embraces their role. Different people get to do that, and that’s the goal every single time from now to the end of the season.”
Offensively and defensively, if there was a play to be made, the Pride made it much more often than their opponent.
With the win, Hofstra is now 21-7, and 11-3 in conference play – good enough for No. 2 in the CAA after having won a season-best five games in a row.
They’ll look to make it six against Delaware on Sunday, Nov. 4, before closing their season against Northeastern the following Sunday, Nov, 11.
Photo courtesy of Cam Keough