Hofstra wins two of three at Hilton Penn's Landing Temple Invitational
In its first weekend of action of the 2018 season, the Hofstra volleyball team went 2-1, beating both the University of Rhode Island and Temple University while falling to Loyola Marymount University in the opener of the Hilton’s Penn Landing Temple Invitational.
With a couple of new faces alongside the potent crew of returning starters, the Pride seemed to find their stride after stumbling to the Lions in the tournament opener Friday night.
The 3-1 loss came despite the 25-22 victory of the first set, in which Hofstra hit at a .361 clip compared to Loyola Marymount’s .244.
The Lions came roaring back though, avenging the attack percentage disparity in the first set with three clearly superior sets in the next three, winning 26-24, 25-15, and 25-18.
Sara Kovac led the Lions with a match-high 18 kills, while Nanishka Perez was just three behind with 15 to lead the Pride in the loss.
One day later, the Pride bounced back and found their groove, toppling Rhode Island in three sets.
Set scores were 25-14, 25-15, and 25-20.
Freshman Aisha Skinner showed why she was brought in to play alongside All-CAA attackers in Laura Masciullo and Ivania Ortiz, spiking down a game high 13 kills in the effort.
Maddie Appleton, another freshman, also showed her capability alongside one of the CAA’s best lineups, racking up 13 digs, four assists, and two service aces.
Other players leaving their marks were Luisa Sydlik with a 43 assist and 17 dig double-double, and Masciullo who posted 11 kills on a career-high .588 attack percentage.
Overall, Hofstra proved to be too much to deal with across all areas, as the 48-23 assist advantage translated nearly directly to the 48-25 kill advantage, while the 9-3 block advantage kept Rhode Island at bay.
Just a few hours later, Hofstra was able to close the invitational with a win against Temple to come home boasting a winning record.
Though victorious, the third win was harder to come by, as the Pride had to fend off a Temple team oozing with momentum after making up ground on a 2-0 set deficit which Hofstra had built with strong 25-16 and 25-18 set wins.
After the Owls knotted the match up by winning sets three and four 26-24 and 25-19 respectively, Hofstra relied on its veteran talent to reel back on track and win the fifth set quite soundly, 15-7.
Though Masciullo once again had herself a game with a match-high 23 kills, it was Sydlik who made the biggest splash in the final match.
Sydlik posted a career-high 66 assists, a feat that hasn’t been reached in over a decade, when Shellane Ogoshi had 67 against William & Mary on Oct. 27, 2007. She also posted 17 digs, securing her third double-double of the tournament.
Meanwhile, senior Michela Rucli also had herself a big game, posting 13 kills along with 3 service aces and seven blocks – both team highs.
For Temple, Katerina Papazoglou led the team with 14 kills, while also leading the team in digs with eight.
Hofstra’s victory came in spite of the 32 errors compiled throughout the match, which was 12 more than the Owls.
Now 2-1, the Pride will return home as they get ready for the Battle of Long Island on Tuesday, Aug. 28.
Hofstra will welcome Stony Brook University at the David S. Mack Fitness Center while the Mack Physical Education Center is undergoing renovation.
Just like Hofstra, the Seawolves are also 2-1, creating an intriguing rival matchup for the two teams aiming to get their third win.
The game is set for 7 p.m.
Image courtesy of Hofstra Athletics