Wildcat Volleyball Loses America East Title Game At Hofstra 3-0

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y.-- The University of New Hampshire women’s volleyball team was defeated 3-0 on Saturday night in the America East Championship game at Hofstra University’s Physical Fitness Center. Scores of the games were 13-15, 8-15 and 8-15.

With the loss, the # 2-seeded Wildcats are 24-12 overall, 12-2 AE, while top-seeded Hofstra improved to 26-5 and 13-1 AE, and will receive an automatic bid to the Division I NCAA volleyball tournament.

Leading the way for the Wildcats was junior Jillian Ross (Naperville, Ill.) who led UNH with 12 kills and a second-best team mark of 17 digs. Senior Leisha Campbell (Oswego, N.Y.) also played well in the title contest with seven kills and 13 digs. Senior local favorite Bethany Cole (Canterbury, N.H.), who had a match-high four solo blocks, also received praise for her efforts from her head coach. Ross and Cole were both named to the All-Championship team following the match.

"Hofstra just really played very well, " said UNH head coach Jill Hirschinger. "There were some long rallies where we played well, but Hofstra outplayed us. I thought that Beth Cole and Jillian Ross were very deserving of being named to the All-Championship team and I thought that Beth came through when we needed her tonight."

Hofstra was led by America East Player of the Year Katiraj Enkelejda, who notched a game-high 21 kills. Also posting impressive numbers for the home team was Lindsey Birkel with 44 assists and 12 digs.

The two teams met three times this season, with the Flying Dutchwomen recording a 2-1 advantage in the 1999 series. Scores of the other matches were 3-2 in favor of UNH on Oct. 9 and 0-3 on Oct. 31.

"I thought Hofstra showed improvement every time we played them," said Hirschinger.

"For such a young team to be expected to be in the hunt for the America East title is a real accomplishment, and I think our players should be very proud of their effort and heart this season," said Hirschinger.

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