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Courtesy: CAA
Hofstra and junior outside hitter Kelsie Wills downed JMU, 3-0, in Friday's first quarterfinal match.

Hofstra Volleyball Downs JMU, Advances To Semifinals

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 11/22/2013
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C., (Nov. 22, 2013) - Fifth-seeded Hofstra utilized a powerful offensive attack to down fourth-seeded James Madison, 3-0, in Friday’s first quarterfinal match of the 2013 Colonial Athletic Association Volleyball Championship held in North Charleston, S.C.

Hofstra, which was swept by JMU both times the teams met in the regular season, avenged the losses in impressive fashion to upset the fourth-seeded Dukes in the opening quarterfinal match of the 2013 CAA Volleyball Championship. Juniors Kelsie Wills and Nuria Lopes da Silva led the Pride with 15 and 14 kills, respectively, while sophomore Kaitlyn Krause had 17 assists and nine digs in the win.

"Our defense was just phenomenal tonight," Hofstra coach Kristina Hernandez said. "And I feel we really hustled all over the place to keep a lot of balls in. Really excited, I think this will give us good energy for tomorrow."

Hofstra improved to 17-14 on the year and advances to face top-seeded College of Charleston -- this year's tournament host -- in Saturday's first semifinal at 1 p.m. James Madison fell to 13-15. Redshirt junior Kristi Richardson finished with 15 assists and junior Lizzy Briones recorded five kills for the Dukes.

Hofstra dominated the first set, registering a .385 hitting percentage while utilizing a number of well-placed serves midway through to take control. Lopes de Silva led all players with five kills and Wills followed with four. Hofstra also held a 13-4 advantage in kills overall.

"We really needed a good start here," Wills, a first-team All-CAA member said. "We've had a rough couple of weeks so it was really good to start off the bat. Everyone contributed throughout."

The second set went back and forth for the early portion before the Dukes tied the action at 9-9 after a rare Wills service ace. JMU continued to push with a 11-6 run to stake a 20-15 lead, but the Pride answered with six consecutive points.

The momentum proved to be enough, as Hofstra closed out the set and took a 2-0 match lead.

Wills and Lopes da Silva continued the offense attack for the Pride in the third set, helping their team finish the set with a .278 hitting percentage. The lead grew to as many as eight, (17-9), and the Pride eased to the 25-17 victory from there.

Hofstra’s Hannah Klemm was equally as impressive in the final two sets and totaled 19 assists and nine digs overall. Wills, who earned All-CAA volleyball first-team honors on Thursday night, also chipped in nine digs for the Pride, who captured the 2012 CAA title.

As a team, Hofstra hit .221 while limiting the Dukes to 21 kills.