Volleyball swept by Nebraska in NCAA Tournament
The Hofstra volleyball team’s season wrapped up on Friday, Nov. 30, when they fell to the No. 7-ranked University of Nebraska in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Hofstra’s nine-match winning streak came to an end as the Cornhuskers won three quick sets: 25-19, 25-12 and 25-16.
The Pride ended the season with a 25-8 overall record.
Hofstra had a strong start in the first set, jumping out to 5-3 lead. After some back-and-forth action, the Cornhuskers answered and went on an 8-3 run, giving them the 19-14 advantage.
However, the Pride would not go down without a fight, forcing Nebraska to take a timeout after shrinking the Cornhuskers’ lead to three at 21-18. Unfortunately for the Pride, they were only able to rally one more point as they fell in the first set by six.
Nebraska came out swinging in both the second and third sets, separating themselves with runs that carried them to comfortable victories.
In the second set, it was an early 10-point advantage that did the damage; while in the third, Nebraska saw an 8-3 Cornhusker run set them apart.
It was the 10th straight match in double-digit kills for Laura Masciullo as she added 10 on the night. Luisa Sydlik posted 24 assists, her 65th straight match in the double digits. Maddie Appleton added to the score sheet and led Hofstra with 13 digs.
Overall, Hofstra had 18 errors, including seven service errors that proved to be the downfall in the match. The Pride’s attacking percentage was .134.
The loss is Hofstra’s first since Wednesday, Oct. 17, as they went into Nebraska boasting a nine-game winning streak.
“Unfortunately, it didn’t go the way that we wanted; but all we can do as Hofstra is continue to grow and continue to bring our name,” said Hofstra head coach Emily Mansur.
Four Hofstra players’ careers came to an unfortunate end in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Senior Michaela Rucli finished her career with 1,023 kills and 536 blocks. Rucli added five kills and one block in the match but ends her time in a Hofstra uniform ranked No. 3 all-time in blocks and No. 16 in kills.
Senior Doris Bogoje closed out her career with 386 kills and 214 blocks. Caylie Denham had 625 digs, and Nanishka Perez totaled 828 kills, 916 digs, 111 service aces and 157 blocks.
Even with four impactful seniors leaving the team, the Pride look to repeat as Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) champions next year.
The Pride has a lot of returning talent on next season’s roster, including All-CAA First Team selection Masciullo, CAA Rookie of the Year Skinner, CAA Setter of the Year Sydlik and CAA All-Rookie pick Appleton.
Appleton is excited for next season. “Unfortunately it didn’t go the way we wanted it to go, but we will be back. We will be back next year,” Appleton said.
Likewise, Masciullo, the All-CAA junior outside hitter, looks forward to getting ready for another impactful season.
“We are ready to go back to our gym and work harder and be ready for next time,” Masciullo said. “We’re going to be back ... I just wish we would have done better.”
Photo Courtesy of Hofstra Athletics