WILMINGTON, North Carolina - Sophomore Kelsie Wills recorded a match-high 15 kills and junior Nikki Kinnier added 12 as Hofstra swept UNCW, 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 25-19), in Colonial Athletic Association volleyball action Saturday at Hanover Hall.
The Pride improved to 16-13 overall and 4-6 in league play as it broke a tie for the sixth and final playoff spot with the Seahawks, who moved to 11-15 and 3-7 as they saw their four-match winning streak come to a close.
"Unfortunately, I felt we let our emotions and the magnitude of this match get to us, we came out playing too tentative, especially on defense," said UNCW Head Coach Amy Bambenek. "I wish we could have sent our seniors out with a bang because both Natalie and Jennifer have invested so much of themselves into this program. They are both a huge reason for the competitive turn-around of Seahawk volleyball these past four years. I couldn't be more proud of the young ladies that they have grown up to become."
Wills and Kinnier led a potent Pride attack that finished with 46 kills and a .376 hitting percentage as Kinnier did not commit an attack error in 16 attempts for a .750 attack clip while Wills tallied just four miscues on 33 tries for a .333 hitting percentage. Senior setter Catalina Charry dished out 27 assists while sophomore Kainoa Ocasek added 15. Senior Kylee Maneja notched 12 digs as she was the only Hofstra player to record double-digit bumps.
Leading 7-6 early in the first set, an attack error by the Seahawks sparked the Pride to an 8-4 spurt and a 15-10 advantage. The Seahawks would battle back, tallying five of the net seven points to pull within two, 17-15, but Hofstra scored four of the next six points to take a 21-17 lead. UNCW once again responded, scoring four of the next five points to make a one-point set, 22-21, only to see the Pride score four of the last five points of the frame to take a 25-22 victory.
The Pride took control of the second set midway through the frame, scoring 15 of the final 22 points as it cruised to a 25-14 victory.
Hofstra never trailed in the third set, breaking a 5-all tie with an 11-5 run that would put the Pride in front, 16-10. The Seahawks would pull within four, 20-16, moments later, but Hofstra would notch five of the final nine points of the frame to record a 25-19 victory and take the match.
Both teams return to action Nov. 9. UNCW is at league-leading Towson while Hofstra travels to George Mason. Both matches are scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.