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Volleyball dominates at Dartmouth Invitational to capture title

Volleyball dominates at Dartmouth Invitational to capture title

The Hofstra volleyball team had a dominant weekend in Hanover, New Hampshire at the Dartmouth Invitational, which took place Sept. 13-14. The Pride dominated all three teams they faced, defeating Dartmouth College, Fordham University, and University of Hartford to take home the title. They now hold a 7-3 record and have extended their winning streak to five matches.

Hofstra kicked off the invitational on Friday Sept. 13 with a commanding win against the Dartmouth Big Green, sweeping them in three sets (26-24, 25-21, 25-18). The Pride started off slow, putting themselves in an early 6-0 hole, but put together a huge rally for the win. After a service error by Dubravka Krakovic that put Dartmouth up 9-4, the Pride turned things around and went on a 9-0 run to take a 13-9 lead.

Dartmouth came back and went on a big run themselves, but the Pride quickly regained momentum. An attack error by Dartmouth’s Carly Tower put the Pride up 24-23. Nicole Liddle saved the Big Green with a clutch kill to tie up the score. Hofstra prevailed in the end, taking the next two points, with the winner coming on a kill by freshman Simge Korkmaz.

The second set was another hard-fought battle that ended with the Pride taking the set 25-21. Hofstra never trailed in this one, but did almost let it get away from them at the end. The Pride and Big Green alternated points several times, but Hofstra finally started to break away when they took a 20-14 lead. That did not last long however, when Dartmouth cut Hofstra’s lead to one after a 5-0 run. They kept it close, but did not build enough momentum to take the lead. Hofstra took control once again and closed it out.

The Pride rode their hot streak into the third set and absolutely dominated. Hofstra completed the sweep over Dartmouth by cruising to a 25-18 victory. The Big Green could not keep up with the Pride and also looked very sloppy. Dartmouth committed 11 errors in this final set, compared to Hofstra’s four. With the score 22-18 in favor of the Pride, sophomore Maddie Appleton took over to put the finishing touches on the Big Green. Appleton served three consecutive service aces to seal the deal for Hofstra and complete the sweep.

It was an all-around great performance for the Pride that demonstrated an unbreakable team chemistry and a stellar team effort. Junior Ana Martinovic posted her second double-double of the season, registering 10 kills and 13 digs. Martinovic, Krakovic, and Laura Masciullo lead the Pride in scoring with 10 kills, nine kills, and seven kills, respectively. Also for Hofstra, senior Luisa Sydlik tallied 34 assists and eight digs, while Juliana Vaz had 18 digs. The Big Green went 0-3 on the weekend and dropped their season record to 2-4. Hofstra is now 2-0 all time against Dartmouth. 

Hofstra continued their dominance as they took on Fordham in their second match of the invitational on Saturday morning, Sept. 14, defeating them in four sets (21-25, 25-21, 25-13, 25-15).

 The Pride struggled in set one, however, losing 25-21. Fordham did everything right and never let Hofstra gain any momentum. The Rams jumped out to a quick 9-3 lead, but Masciullo and Martinovic tried to bring the Pride back by each getting two kills and cutting the deficit to 9-7. Hofstra kept it close for a little bit after that, but the Rams pulled away and took a 21-16 lead. Hofstra could not come back from that deficit and lost 25-21.

The Pride looked much different in set two. The two teams went back and forth up until the middle of the set, when Hofstra finally broke loose. A kill by senior Eliska Truneckova gave the Pride their biggest lead at 14-9. They never looked back after that and dominated the rest of the way. Krakovic sealed the deal for Hofstra with a kill that gave them the 25-21 win.

Fordham could not rebound after set two and was obliterated 25-13 in the third stanza. The Pride trailed 5-3 early, but went on an 8-0 run to take an 11-5 lead. They cruised to another win and took a 2-1 lead in the match. Martinovic took control in this set, leading Hofstra with five kills. Hofstra looked like a completely different team and carried their hot streak to another easy win in the fourth set.

The Pride won the match after overpowering Fordham once again, taking the final set 25-15. It was another impressive win that allowed them to have a chance at the Dartmouth Invitational title. Martinovic had her second straight double-double, registering 12 kills and 14 digs. Masciullo led both teams with 17 kills in the match and Truneckova posted a career-high 20 digs. Sydlik had an outstanding performance, posting 53 assists, 16 digs, and six kills.

For Fordham, Kaitlin Morley and Elise Benjamin lead the team with eight kills each. The Pride dominated offensively, outhitting the Rams .259 to .140. Hofstra hit over .200 in all four sets, with a high of .382 in the fourth and final stanza.

The Pride completed their sweep of the Dartmouth Invitational with a four set win (25-19, 23-25, 25-17, 25-21) over Hartford.

The Hawks began the set taking the first three points, but Hofstra rebounded by going on another impressive 6-0 run. Luz Divina Nunez Sierra recorded two kills and a block during the run to help the Pride take a 9-5 lead. Both teams traded the next few points as Hartford looked to get back into a groove. An attack error by Masciullo allowed the Hawks to get back within two. Hofstra took back control and built up their biggest lead at 23-16. Hofstra took set one with ease.

Hartford bounced back and evened up the match with a tough 25-23 win in set two. The Hawks and Pride traded points throughout the stanza but Hartford started to pull away when they went on a 4-0 run to take an 18-13 lead. Hofstra was resilient and battled back to cut the deficit to one. With the score 24-23 in favor of the Hawks, an attack error from Krakovic sealed the deal for Hartford and evened the match.

Hofstra dominated the rest of the way, winning the third set 25-17 and the final one 25-21. Sydlik impressed once again with 44 assists and 12 digs. She proved to be Hofstra’s most consistent player over the weekend and took home tournament MVP honors. With this win over Hartford, they captured the Dartmouth Invitational title.

The Pride return home this week to host the Hofstra Invitational on Sept. 19 and 20. They will welcome St. John’s University, University of Oregon, and Duke University.

Image courtesy of Hofstra Athletics

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