Game 1 — LIU Brooklyn
By Kevin Carroll — SPORTS EDITOR
The Hofstra volleyball team picked up its first win of the season in dramatic fashion, knocking off LIU-Brooklyn in five sets to kick off the George Washington Invitational on Friday night in Washington, D.C.
The Pride and the Blackbirds were even through four sets, with LIU-Brooklyn taking an early advantage with a 25-23 first-set victory. Hofstra battled back to take the next two sets, winning by scores of 26-24 and 25-23.
The Blackbirds tied the match at two sets each with a 25-18 win in the fourth set, setting the stage for a fifth-set tiebreaker that the Pride won in convincing fashion, ending the match with a 15-8 win to take the match and end a three-match losing streak to start the season.
Freshman Ivania Ortiz, who has dazzled so far this year in her debut for the Pride, led the team in kills with 20 kills, while Doris Bogoje set a career-high with 14 kills of her own.
Ortiz has unquestionably been Hofstra’s breakout star so far in 2017, leading the Pride in kills on multiple occasions and earning her spot in the Hofstra lineup alongside established hitters like Rucli and last year’s reigning CAA Player of the Year, Laura Masciullo.
It was one of Hofstra’s most impressive offensive effort yet so far this year, as Michaela Rucli and Nanishka Perez also hit the double-digit marks in kills, with 14 and 10 respectively. The Pride outhit LIU-Brooklyn by a .158-.103 margin.
Defensively, it was also Hofstra’s best effort of the year with a season-high 106 digs. Caylie Denham set the pace with 24 digs, while Perez had 21 and Luisa Sydlik had 16 digs to go along with her match-high 56 assists.
LIU-Brooklyn was led by the duo of Julia Azevedo and Nina Petranovic, who had 11 kills each.
Game 2 — Indiana
By Chris Detwiler — STAFF WRITER
After being ranked second in the preseason poll, the Hofstra volleyball team holds a meager 1-4 record through their first five games. In their most recent game, they played the Indiana Hoosiers and lost 3-1 on Saturday morning in Washington, D.C. The Hoosiers now hold a 5-0 record.
The loss came in four sets, with Indiana winning the sets by a score of 25-18, 25-16, 19-25 and 31-29.
The Pride put up quite a fight in the fourth set, sending it past the normal 25-point match. Unfortunately, Hofstra was unable to send it to a deciding fifth set and the Hosiers earned the victory.
Sophomore Laura Masciullo led both teams in kills with 18 in the game and was tied with teammate Luisa Sydlik and Indiana’s Victoria Brisack for the most aces in the game with two. At the end of the game, Hofstra led the Hosiers in aces 5-4.
Masciullo has been a very bright spot so far this season, with freshman Ivania Ortiz stepping up in a big way early on this year.
Ortiz leads the team in kills with 77 and points with 86.5. She had 14 kills against Indiana, second only to Masciullo. Ortiz had three more kills than the Hosier’s top performer in that category.
She also led the team in digs against Indiana with 15, which was tied with the Hosier’s Meaghan Koors for most in the game.
Game Three — George Washington
By Felipe Fontes — STAFF WRITER
With the win on Saturday night, the Hofstra volleyball team came out of the George Washington Invitational with a winning record, winning two of its three games.
This final victory came at the expense of the host George Washington University, with a 3-1 victory over the Colonials.
The Pride showed the ability to bounce back from the loss against Indiana, winning three consecutive sets after dropping the opening stanza.
Despite falling 25-20 in the first set, Hofstra stormed back winning each of the next two sets by the same score of 25-16, and sealing the deal with a slightly more contested 25-22 win in the last.
This resilience told the story for the Pride, who after the first stanza only gave up the lead once for the remainder of the game.
The lone lead change came in the fourth set, when the Colonials grasped a one point lead to start the game 1-0.
Soon after the slight Colonial edge, the Pride regained their lead and ran with it as they had for the majority of the game, closing the game handedly in the most competitive stanza.
Making herself familiar with the crowd on Saturday night was freshman Ivania Ortiz, who had a game high 17 kills to go along with a pair of aces.
The new face for Hofstra appeared often in the scorer’s table, alongside returning vets such as Laura Masciullo and Luisa Sydlik.
These strong individual performances resulted in blatant disparities between the teams in the stat columns.
Hofstra nearly doubled George Washington in kills, with a solid 61 compared to the Colonials 38.
On the same note, the Pride’s .379 attack percentage dwarfed George Washington’s .193.
After closing the invitational with a win, Hofstra will head back to Long Island to face off against Stony Brook to attempt to get its first back to back wins of the season.
As of right now the Pride are 2-4 and hoping to get one game closer to .500.
The upcoming game will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 6 p.m.