Following a dominant 3-0 victory Friday over last year’s regular-season CAA champion Northeastern, William and Mary (14-8, CAA 6-2) hosted Hofstra (9-17, CAA 4-5) Saturday night.
Typically a strong first-set team — the squad had won six of the last eight first sets before Saturday — the Tribe allowed a sub-.500 Hofstra squad to claim a close first set 26-24 and hold on for a five-set, 3-2 victory.
“Our offense wasn’t clicking,” Head Coach Melissa Shelton said about the slow Tribe start, attributing the early deficit to “tentative mistakes.”
However, the College returned to form in the second set, quickly opening up a 14-5 margin. The Tribe never trailed in the set, cruising to a 25-16 win, tying the match at one apiece. Sophomore hitter Lindsay Kresch helped in the second set win by totaling seven kills. She finished with career-high 18 kills.
The Tribe was unable to carry over its second-set momentum, letting the Pride jump out to an early 11-4 lead in the third set. After tying the set at 15-15, the College failed to stave off the Hofstra attack, dropping the set 25-21.
With their backs to the wall, the College fell behind early in the fourth set, but strung together eight consecutive points to lead 12-7 behind service from junior blocker Ginny Bray, who had five kills and eight digs. After the Pride battled back to tie the score at 22-22, Shelton called timeout. Out of the break, the Tribe rolled off three consecutive points, including two kills from Kresch, to win the set 25-22 and tie the match 2-2.
In the final stanza, the underdog Pride stormed to a 10-5. The Tribe countered, with help from four Hofstra attack errors, and cut the lead to one at 14-13. A decisive back-and-forth point followed, but eventually the ball dropped on the College’s side, giving the set, and the match to Hofstra.
“This match is a reality check – we know that any team in the CAA can beat any other,” senior hitter Lauren Powell said.
Despite the loss, Powell notched her team-leading ninth double-double of the year recording 12 kills and 19 digs in addition to two aces. Junior setter Cassie Crumal and freshman setter Jordyn Moloney combined for 44 assists and senior libero Lindsey Pflugner tallied a match-high 24 digs.
The Tribe plays Towson and first-place Delaware this weekend and will return to action at the Kaplan Arena Friday Nov. 6 against George Mason.