By: Jake Shindel, Sports editor
Towson Volleyball defeated Hofstra in three sets as outside hitter Nina Cajic finished with ten kills. With the win, Towson tied Hofstra for first place in the CAA, with a rematch being the only game remaining on either team’s schedule.
Outside hitter Victoria Barrett finished with nine kills on the day, while defensive specialist Rachel Hess led the Tigers with 11 digs. For Hofstra, outside hitter Zyare Abdul-Rahim finished with seven kills, and libero Chiara Cucco finished with 12 digs.
Setter Sarah Jordan suffered a concussion during practice and was forced to miss the match, and Head Coach Don Metil isn’t sure if she will be able to play on Sunday or in the CAA Tournament. Metil says that despite Jordan being out, the team was still able to perform because of their positional depth.
“I think it speaks volumes about the depth of some of the positions that we have, and we have a next woman up mentality,” Metil said.
The first set was back and forth for most of the way, with Metil calling a timeout for the Tigers at a 16-16 tie. Towson began to pull away after the timeout, winning the first set 25-20.
Cajic led Towson with five kills through the first set, while outside hitter Fay Bakodimou and setters Katie McCracken and Trinity Burge recorded four digs each. Abdul-Rahim led Hofstra with five kills.
The second set started with a 7-0 run by Towson, before Hofstra scored a point to make it 7-1. Towson’s dominant start to the second set forced two early timeouts by Hofstra, but Towson kept their foot on the gas. The team maintained a ten-point lead throughout the majority of the second set.
A kill by Bakodimou ended a strong set for Towson, with Barrett and Bakodimou recording four kills apiece. Barrett led the team through two sets with seven total points.
“We made a lot of changes, and sometimes you can catch your opponent with the element of surprise,” Metil said.
The third set displayed a more even matchup between the two teams, knotted at seven points early in the set. A 3-0 run by the Tigers was followed by a Hofstra timeout, with Towson’s three-point lead being the largest lead of the set up to that point.
Towson built their lead to five after a kill by Cajic, pushing the score to 15-10. A steady five-point lead by Towson resulted in Hofstra’s second timeout of the set, as Towson enjoyed a 17-12 lead.
Hofstra mounted a comeback towards the end of the third set, putting up a 3-0 run which caused Towson to call a timeout. With the score sitting at 24-21, Hofstra had a service error, giving Towson the win.
High stakes are on the line in a rematch on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 1 p.m. With a win, Towson clinches the regular season title, and earns themselves extra rest throughout the tournament. The regular season champion also hosts the CAA Tournament in the following year.