Hofstra defends its home court in Battle of Long Island
In its 2018 home opener, Hofstra Volleyball once again proved that the title of best team on Long Island belonged to them as they took down Stony Brook in three consecutive sets, winning 3-0 on Tuesday night, Aug. 25.
The victory put the Pride at 7-1 in its all-time record against Stony Brook as they mark their fifth consecutive win since the teams started playing each other again in 2014.
In the 2018 matchup, it was one thing that gave the Pride a clear advantage – a balanced attack.
Hofstra had three players with double digit kills and two more coming near that with eight.
Freshman phenom Aisha Skinner led the attack with 13 kills, while Laura Masciullo and Nanishka Perez fell just behind with 12 and 11, respectively.
Masciullo was incredibly efficient all night, committing only one error and posting a .423 attacking percentage.
Possibly even more impressive was Michela Rucli, who although was limited to only 15 attempted attacks, converted on eight of them, earning herself a .533 attack percentage.
Most impressive of all perhaps was Doris Bogoje, whose game-high .727 attack percentage came from converting a near perfect eight of 11 attempts on the three-set victory for the Pride.
All this was created mostly by the stellar setting by Luisa Sydlik, who posted 47 assists one game after her career-high 66 assist performance.
Stony Brook, on the other hand, had an attack mostly concentrated on providing opportunities for their all-conference middle blocker, Mckyla Brooks.
Brooks was the only Seawolf in double digit kills for the night with a game-high 14, creating a predictable attack that threatened the Pride but could not completely take over.
Nonetheless, Stony Brook’s star player did create a tough component for the Pride to deal with.
“She was on fire,” said Hofstra volleyball head coach Emily Mansur. “Every ball that she touched, she got a kill. She played really well. We were not able to adjust as we would like to have, as we knew she was a great player coming in, but she actually did a pretty good job.”
Also on the board for the Seawolves were Emily Costello who posted nine kills, and Maria Poole who finished the night with eight.
Although Skinner continues to show her prowess on the offensive side of the ball, defensively, Maddie Appleton is also showing why she’s earning so much playing time as a freshman.
The first-year player from Milford, Michigan notched 12 digs, making it her 3rd consecutive game with double digit kills. More than that, she was on the court for the majority of the game, cementing her place as a key defensive cog that the Pride can consistently rely on.
“ [Appleton] reads the game really well, so I’m very excited to see as she gets used to the speed of the college game. I think we’re going to see her getting better and better and be so much more aggressive,” Mansur said.
With the victory, the Pride will now head to the Black Knights Invitational in West Point, New York with a 3-1 record.
The tournament will begin for Hofstra at 4 p.m. on Friday with a matchup against Southeastern Louisiana University and continue through Saturday with games against the University of Albany and Army West Point University.
Image courtesy of Hofstra Athletics