Towson, MD – Sophomore Kelsie Wills recorded a team-high 18 kills, senior Catalina Charry tallied 29 assists and 14 digs and classmate Kylee Maneja added a team-high 17 digs to lead the fourth-seed Hofstra Volleyball team to a five-set victory over two-time defending Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) champion Delaware in the 2012 CAA Volleyball Championship match at the Towson Center Arena Sunday night.

Hofstra won the match, 18-25, 25-16, 12-25, 25-23 and 15-12.

Sunday’s victory is the Pride’s seventh consecutive win which is the second longest streak of the season behind the eight to start the season.  The current win streak includes three conference championship tournament wins including victories over the top two seeds in number one Towson in the semifinals and number two Delaware in the championship.

Hofstra improves to 21-13 this season. The Pride is now 6-3 in five-set matches this season.

The Pride advance to the 2012 NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship with the CAA’s automatic bid to the national championship that begins in two weeks.

The NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Committee will conduct selections for the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship Nov. 24-25. The 64-team field will be announced during a selection show on ESPNU, Sunday, Nov. 25, at 4 p.m. ET. The 64-team field will be selected from 328 NCAA Division I institutions sponsoring the sport of women’s volleyball. Of the 64 teams, 31 teams will receive automatic qualification with the remaining best 33 teams selected on an at-large basis.

Hofstra, which captured its 16th conference championship and its second CAA title, will be returning to the NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship for the seventh time and the first since winning the CAA crown in 2006. The Pride have made NCAA Championship appearances in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2000 as a member of the North Atlantic Conference/America East and in 2006 as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association.

The Pride recorded nine conference championships in the East Coast Conference, five in the North Atlantic Conference/America East and now two in the CAA. 

Wills was named the CAA Championship Most Outstanding Player after recording 18 kills and 11 digs in the title match. Charry, who also had 10 kills in the match, and Maneja joined Wills on the CAA All-Championship Team after the Pride battled back from a 2-1 deficit in sets to capture the conference title.

In that fierce fifth set with the score tied at 10-10, Wills tallied three straight kills for the Pride and junior Sara Campolina scored the final two points on kills to top the Blue Hens, 15-12. The Pride had 11 kills and a .333 (11-3-24) attack percentage with 11 assists and 10 digs in the final set. The Blue Hens had a .115 (7-4-26) attack percentage in the fifth set.

The Blue Hens of Delaware (16-14) looked like the two-time defending champions that they were at the start of the match. In fact, UD has been to the CAA Championship match in five of the past six seasons. In the first set, the two teams split the first eight points before the Blue Hens tallied four of the next six to take an 8-6 lead. After opening up five points leads at 12-7 and 14-9, Delaware went on an 8-5 run to open its biggest lead of the match at 22-14 on the way to the 25-18 victory. Chelsea Lawrence tallied six kills while Mackenzie Olsen had 10 assists for UD. Blue Hens posted a .296 (12-4-27) attack percentage Hofstra was led by Emily Burke with five kills while Catalina Charry had eight assists for the Pride who had a .114 (11-7-35) attack percentage.

In set two, the Pride never trailed although the Blue Hens closed to within one several times, the latest at 13-12. But Hofstra scored the next four points and seven of the next nine to open up a 20-14 lead on their way to a 25-16 victory. Wills posted five kills, Charry added six assists and Kylee Maneja recorded five digs in the second set as the Pride posted a .226 (14-7-31) attack percentage. The Blue Hens were led by Alissa Alker with five kills as Delaware posted a .057 (8-6-35) attack percentage in set two.

After splitting the first six points, the Blue Hens dominated set three, going on a 13-3 run to build a 16-6 lead on the way to a 25-12 victory. The Pride attack was stymied as they posted a -.068 (9-12-44) attack percentage while the Blue Hens posted a .250 (9-1-32) attack percentage with 18 digs. Katie Hank had four kills while Olsen had five digs and seven assists for UD in set three.

Set four was a battle down to the wire. In a see-saw contest, Hofstra led 13-9 only to see Delaware go on a 12-6 run to take a 21-19 lead. But the Pride went on a 6-2 run to close out the set, 25-23. Charry had two kills, Wills had one kill and freshman Corrina Delgadillo closed out the set with a service ace.

The Pride’s 21 victories in 2012 is their first 20-win campaign since the 2006 squad went 24-7 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.  

Also named to the 2012 CAA All-Championship team were Alissa Alker and Chelsea Lawrence Lawrence from Delaware, Danielle Erb from James Madison and Katy Buck from Towson.