HEMPSTEAD, New York –Juniors Emily Burke and Kelsie Wilis combined for 37 kills to lead Hofstra to a 3-1 (25-20, 25-21, 20-25, 25-19) victory over UNCW in Colonial Athletic Association volleyball action Friday at the Mack Physical Education Center.

The Pride, opening its defense of its 2012 CAA Championship, improved to 10-5 overall and 1-0 league play while the Seahawks moved to 11-4 and 0-1. UNCW returns to action Saturday with a 7 p.m. contest at Northeastern while Hofstra is back on the court Sunday in a 1 p.m. matchup with the College of Charleston.

“A lot of balls just didn't fall our way tonight, but we were slow to find our offensive rhythm and we did not do a good job defending their outside hitters,” said UNCW Head Coach Amy Bambenek.”  Nicole (Lott) and Christi (Laite) played good matches offensively but we are going to need multiple hitters creating kills to win games in conference.

Wilis recorded 19 kills and Burke added 18 to power a Pride attack that finished with a season-high .336 hitting percentage. Wilis also led all players with 16 digs to finish with a double-double. Sophomore Kaitlyn Krause dished out 27 assists and freshman Hannah Klemm added 22.

Two-time reigning CAA Rookie-of-the-Week Nicole Lott tallied 16 kills to lead three UNCW players in double figures as senior Christi Laite and junior Morgan Kline chipped in 10 spikes apiece. Freshman Alyssa Desjardins dished out 24 assists while senior Haley Collins added 18. Sophomore Lindsay Hartmann finished with a team-best 11 digs.

With the score tied at 14-all in a tight first set that featured 12 ties and four lead changes, a UNCW attack error sparked the Pride to a 9-2 run and a 23-16 advantage. The Seahawks would respond with four of the next five points to pull within four, 24-20, but a spike by Wilis gave the Pride a 25-20 victory and a 1-0 lead.

In the second set, UNCW raced out to a quick 6-1 lead and held a 17-13 edge midway through the frame before the Pride rallied for 12 of the final 16 points of the set for a 25-21 decision and a 2-0 edge.

The Seahawks extended the match with a 25-20 victory in the third set, using a 13-4 run to erase a 12-10 deficit and build a 23-16 cushion on their way to the five-point triumph.

Tied 12-all in the fourth set, Hofstra scored nine of the next 14 points to take a 23-17 lead. A kill by Lott and an attack error by the Pride pulled UNCW within two, 21-19, but Hofstra tallied the next four points to record a 25-19 victory and take the match.