By Felipe Fontes — STAFF WRITER
The Hofstra volleyball team experienced both sides of a shutout on Friday as the Pride took part in the Hampton Inn Bama Bash, knocking off Furman University before getting swept by the University of Alabama.
Stating off against the Paladins, the Pride was able to keep its recently-gained momentum alive, elevating its win streak to a season high three games. Hofstra’s three victorious sets came by scores of 25-12, 25-20, and 25-21. With four players between seven and nine kills, Hofstra prevailed behind a well balanced attack.
Freshman Sanne Maring registered eight kills alongside freshman teammate Ivania Ortiz, who continued to make her name known to the public with seven kills of her own. Meanwhile, veteran attacker Michela Rucli and Laura Masciullo displayed their leadership on the court for Hofstra, totaling nine kills apiece. The initiator for this well-rounded attack, Hofstra setter Luisa Sydlik, set her teammates up with 35 assists to nearly triple the game’s next highest assist total of 12, recorded by Furman’s Katie Murphy.
While this offensive production did push Hofstra to a sizable kills advantage by the end of the game, the six-error margin between the teams only widened the gap, opening the door for a smooth Hofstra win to kick off the day.
The following game wouldn’t be so easy for the Pride, facing an Alabama that selects its roster from an undergraduate body about 15 times larger than that of Furman’s.
Alabama displayed its dominance on the volleyball court in the same manner that it typically does on the football field. Although the Crimson Tide won three consecutive sets, it didn’t come without a fight for Hofstra, who threatened Bama with three different set points in the first stanza. As the final score indicates, holding Alabama at bay wasn’t enough, as the host school reversed the tide and clinched all three sets, 27-25, 25-17, and 25-19.
The loss for the Pride came in spite of Ivania Ortiz’s third double-double of the season, tallying 10 kills and 14 digs. And again, Luisa Sydlik supplied the Pride with 33 assists, but this time, the connection with her teammates wasn’t enough to flip the script in a tough outing against Bama.
Crimson Tide’s Meghan Nelson had 32 assists of her own, while Leah Lawrence led the attack with a game-high 12 kills.
The defeat against Alabama puts Hofstra at 4-5 for the season, ending its three-game winning streak that was extended earlier in the day against Furman.
Following the split on Friday, the Pride will finish the Hampton Inn Bama Bash with an exhibition against Tennessee State University before heading back north to take on Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey a few days later on Tuesday, Sept 12.
The final game in the invitational will take place at 2 p.m. CST.