Hofstra University volleyball kicks off its season tomorrow with a match against Niagara. Head coach Emily Mansur said she thinks this will be a pretty special team. “We have a great group of girls,” she said. “They’re super young, but we have some special talent on the court this year, so are very excited to start the season.”
Mansur said the young team will need a bit of time to get to where they need to be, but once they settle in, they’ll make the Pride proud. Unfortunately, the volleyball team doesn’t have the budget to have the players on campus during the summer, which many of their opponents do. Instead, some players arrived the second week of July, rented a house off campus, worked summer camps and trained on their own.
“We are very thankful that they do this because if they don’t want to do this we can’t ask them,” said Mansur. The team’s international players from France, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Cyprus, Brazil and Canada could not come until July 30. A couple played on their national teams this summer. The players arrived in good condition and ready, but it still takes time to build rhythm as a team.
“They really need to buy into the idea that that they have to put the work in at home, and then we have two and a half weeks to be ready to play,” Mansur said. “It’s super exciting and everybody is very happy.”
Redshirt seniors, middle blocker Sarah Pierre and outside hitter Zyare Abdul-Rahim, are excited to show their strengths. Pierre is the team captain and a leader. Mansur expects her to take charge in the middle and guide the team to success on and off the court. On the court, Mansur expects Abdul-Rahim to be the person every team is trying to stop but can’t.
“I really do think we have a team to win it all this year in the CAA and to build to compete further next year,” said Mansur. “At the beginning, this is a young team, but we’re going to peak at the right time. I believe this team has every position of we need to be on a successful level.”