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Kali Funk set career-highs with seven kills and 31 assists during Friday's five-set victory at Hofstra.
Courtesy: Mark Campbell

University of Delaware Volleyball Hangs On For 3-2 CAA Victory Over Hofstra in Five-Set Thriller

Courtesy: Delaware Athletics
Release: 10/18/2013
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HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- The University of Delaware volleyball team captured three of the final four points of the match as the Blue Hens held on for a thrilling 3-2 (25-18, 25-19, 24-26, 18-25, 15-13) Colonial Athletic Association victory over Hofstra Friday night.

The Blue Hens improved to 11-9 overall following the triumph, and climbed back to the .500 mark at 3-3 in league play. Delaware, which avenged a three-set loss to the Pride just two weeks ago in Newark, has now won three of its four conference road matches this season. Hofstra dropped to 12-9 overall and is also 3-3 in the CAA.

Sophomore Katie Hillman led the Blue Hens with 18 kills on the night, while redshirt sophomore Chandler Bryant added 12 against just three attack errors while hitting .360 during the win. Delaware freshman Kali Funk, making her first career start, posted career-highs of seven kills and 31 assists, while reigning CAA Defensive Player of the Week Ariel Shonk again paced the squad with 24 digs.

Bryant made a career-high nine blocks during the match, while freshman Autumn Jenkins also set her career-best with 15 digs. Kelsie Wills paced Hofstra with 28 kills and 12 digs, while Nuria Lopes de Silva contributed 12 kills.

"We played very good Delaware volleyball this evening,” remarked Blue Hen head coach Bonnie Kenny. “We worked on being more efficient all week, and we did that this evening. It was an overall great team effort and I’m glad we came out with a W!”

Delaware took the first two sets of the match, and after dropping the next two, never trailed during the deciding frame. UD used a 5-1 run to take a 10-6 advantage, before the Pride battled back to knot things at 12-12. However the Blue Hens countered with two straight points, and following a Hofstra point, UD clinched the match on an attack error by the Pride’s Kaitlyn Krause.

The teams were knotted at 18-18 during a tense first set but the Blue Hens exploded for a seven-point spurt, culminated with a Hillman kill, to take the early lead. Delaware led by as many as six points during the second frame, and after the Pride closed within 21-19, UD won the next four points to go up two sets to none.

After trailing 20-16 in the third set the Blue Hens rallied to earn a match point at 24-23, but Hofstra posted a block to stay in the match and then won the next two points as well to take the set. The Pride then cruised to a relatively easy fourth set win, setting up the fifth and deciding set.

Match Notes:
• Delaware improved to 6-2 in five-set matches this season
• Hillman (18 kills/10 digs) notched her seventh double-double of the year
• Katie Hank made five blocks to set her career-high
• Funk also had seven digs during the win
• The Blue Hens travel to Northeastern Sunday at 1 p.m.

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