Volleyball: Tribe comes up short against Hofstra

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The Tribe fought hard, but lost to Hofstra in straight sets. COURTESY PHOTO // TRIBE ATHLETICS

William and Mary entered the weekend homestand with a match Friday night against Hofstra at Kaplan Arena. The Pride came into Friday night in second place in the Colonial Athletic Association, fresh off an upset victory over James Madison. The Pride handed the Dukes their first conference loss of the season in 10 matches and evened the season series after losing to the Dukes in five sets earlier this fall. The College had still mustered just one conference victory and had lost its last six matches. The Tribe played the Pride on Sept. 30 and played a competitive first set, but Hofstra cruised to a straight-set victory at home. Friday night in Williamsburg, the College (5-15, 1-10 CAA) nearly came back to take the second set and even the match, but the Pride (18-7, 8-3 CAA) claimed the game and then blew the Tribe out in the third set to grab their second three-set win over the Tribe this season.

In the first set, the Pride never trailed after winning the opening two points of the set. However, the College hung tough and kept within striking distance for the majority of the game. At 14-12, the two teams won alternating points until the score of the first set stood at 19-17. With a chance to steal the first set and jump out to a lead like it had Wednesday against Elon, the College faltered down the stretch. The Pride reeled off three-straight points to take a commanding five-point advantage, before ultimately winning six of the final seven points of the game to take the first set, 25-18.

The Tribe sought to erase the Pride’s lead in the second set and got off to a fast start, stealing the first three points of the game. Two of those points came off kills by freshman middle blocker Madeleine Bertz and freshman outside hitter Claire Farrell. However, a five-point spurt by the Pride gave them back the lead, 5-3. After trailing 3-0, the Pride went on to win 14 of the next 18 points and looked to be running away with the second set with a 14-7 lead. However, at 20-13, the Tribe staged a five-point run of its own to close the margin to just two points. The College got as close as 23-22 on a kill by sophomore middle blocker Julia Brown before dropping the final two points of the set. The Tribe’s comeback attempt came up just short and the Pride claimed a commanding 2-0 advantage in the match.

The Pride jumped out to a huge lead early in the third set, 11-4, and it never relinquished that edge. The College did not lead at all in the third game, and the closest it got to tying the Pride in the set was when the Tribe cut the deficit to five points, 11-6, on a service ace by Farrell. The Pride was able to run away with the final set, claiming it 25-13 to give them a straight-set victory on the road.

Hofstra was led to victory by outside hitter Laura Masciullo’s match-high 14 kills. Libero Maddie Appleton had a match-high 13 digs and setter Luisa Sydlik chipped in 35 assists and 11 digs. The College also had strong individual performances in the straight-set loss. Farrell had a team-high 13 kills along with four digs. Senior setter Katie Kemp provided 29 assists and six digs, while freshman outside hitter Lauren Merrill had 11 digs and four kills.

The Pride will travel to Elon Sunday to take on the Phoenix for the second time this year. The College will play its third match in five days when Northeastern travels to Williamsburg for a match Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Earlier this season, the Huskies knocked off the College, winning in four sets at home. Sunday, The Tribe will seek to halt its seven-game losing streak and pick up its second win in the CAA this season.