Hofstra Wins 2012 CAA Volleyball Championship
TOWSON, Md. (November 18, 2012) - Fourth-seeded Hofstra won the 2012 CAA Volleyball Championship after knocking off second-seeded Delaware 3-2, Sunday afternoon. The Pride will receive the CAA's automatic bid into the upcoming NCAA Volleyball Championship.
Sophomore outside hitter Kelsie Wills was named the Most Outstanding Player after recording a double-double with 18 kills and 11 digs. The Pride (21-13, 6-6 CAA) was also led by senior setter Catalina Charry, who recorded a triple-double with 10 kills, 29 assists, and 14 digs. Delaware (16-14, 9-3 CAA) was led by senior outside hitter Alissa Alker who recorded a double-double with 12 kills and 13 digs.
Delaware got on the board first with a 25-18 win in the first set. The Blue Hens used a 5-0 run in the middle of the set to give them a 12-7 lead. UD would hold a lead of at least three points through the entire first frame and finished the set on a 3-0 run to gain an early advantage in the match. Senior middle hitter Chelsea Lawrence tallied six kills in the first frame, while the Blue Hens hit a match-high .296.
Hofstra would fight back in the following set, and after opening the frame 3-0, used a 5-0 run of their own late in the second set to increase their lead to 17-12. The Pride would continue the offensive pressure towards the end of the set, and finished the frame on a 4-0 run to pick up the 25-16 victory, and tie the match at 1-1. The Pride would increase its hitting percentage from .114 to .226 in the second set, while the Blue Hens saw their attack clip fall from .296 to .057. Wills finished with five kills in the set, while senior libero Kylee Maneja added five digs.
The Blue Hens came out of the break firing on all cylinders offensively and led from start to finish in the third set, winning 25-12. Already leading 10-6, UD reeled off seven straight points to increase its lead to 16-6 in the middle of the set. The Blue Hens would continue to keep up the offensive pressure and cruised to the 13 point victory, and increase its lead in the match to 2-1. Delaware would have only one error in the third frame compared to 12 from Hofstra. Freshman setter Mackenzie Olsen would finish the set with seven assists.
However, just as they had done in the semifinals, Hofstra would fight off elimination in the fourth frame and win the set 25-23. The fourth set was the closest of all the sets featuring eight ties and five lead changes. The Pride would build up a 13-9 lead in the middle of the set, only to see UD go on a 6-0 run and tie the set at 14-14. Delaware would ride the momentum and build up a lead of 20-17, as it looked to be in position to win its third straight CAA title. However, Hofstra would pick up its intensity and rally to tie the match at 21-21, forcing a UD timeout. The short break wouldn't stop the momentum for the Pride, as they would finish the set on a 4-2 run and tie the match at 2-2, forcing the decisive fifth-set. Wills would add five kills to her total in the fourth set, while Charry added six assists.
Both teams fought hard for control at the start of the final frame, with four ties and four lead changes before the Blue Hens took early 5-4 advantage. After UD built up a quick two point lead at 7-5, Hofstra would respond with a 5-2 run to take a 10-8 lead, and force a Delaware timeout. UD would fight back to tie the score at 10-10, but Hofstra finished the match on a 5-2 run to seal their first CAA title since 2006 with a 15-12 win in the final set, and a 3-2 match victory.
Hofstra will be entering its first NCAA championship since 2006, and will be the first tournament appearance for head coach Kristina Hernandez.
CAA All-Championship Team
Danielle Erb, James Madison
Katy Buck, Towson
Alissa Alker, Delaware
Chelsea Lawrence, Delaware
Catalina Charry, Hofstra
Kylee Maneja, Hofstra
Championship Most Outstanding Player
Kelsie Wills, Hofstra