William and Mary (4-7, 0-2 CAA) remained winless in Colonial Athletic Association play after falling to Hofstra (8-6, 1-1 CAA) Sunday, Sept. 29.
The match’s opening set was an extreme example of the clear skill differential between the Pride and the Tribe. The Pride scored 17 kills in the first frame alone, compared to just four for the College. Clearly, the Tribe was outpaced and outplayed by the Pride, which took the set by a devastating final score of 25-13 in a game without a single lead change or tie.
The second frame was only marginally better for the College, which lost yet again, this time 25-16. For its part, the Tribe’s offense showed signs of life, particularly junior opposite hitter Kate Dedrick, who posted four kills, and sophomore outside hitter Lauren Merrill, who posted three. Senior setter Autumn Brenner contributed nine assists and an ace, but it wasn’t nearly enough to boost the Tribe over the top. The Pride’s offense remained sharp and efficient, hitting .500 in the second game, during which the College’s sluggish defense was seemingly unable to answer its opponent.
Heading into the match’s third and final frame, the Tribe showed a passion that had been sorely lacking in the early parts of the contest. Sophomore outside hitter Dedrick continued to carry the offense, putting down five kills on her own during the third set, the only one in which the College out-hit the Pride .242 to .185. As for Dedrick, she posted 12 kills on the match, making the match against the Pride the seventh of the last eight in which she has earned double-digit kills. However, it was the defense that made the difference in the game, led by sophomore outside hitter Claire Farrell who notched five digs. With the defense finally on the board, the Tribe managed to keep pace with the Pride for the entire frame, which saw 14 ties and six lead changes.
Despite losing the final game 26-24 and the match by a 3-0 margin, the Tribe tapped into a fire that has been noticeably absent from its recent outings, providing a glimmer of hope for the rest of conference play.
Next week, the College will embark on its first road trip of CAA play, traveling to face North Carolina-Wilmington Friday, Oct. 4 and Charleston Sunday, Oct. 6.