The volleyball team opened Big East conference play this past weekend and split the first two games at home.
On Sunday the Hall was swept by the South Florida Bulls 25-21, 25-21, 25-17, dropping the Pirates to 7-11, 1-1 in conference play.
“We are an even .500 right now,”head coach Kris Zeiter said. “Right now we are just looking to next week.”
In the loss, senior Allie Matters was able to extend her nation-leading dig streak to 55 after leading the team with 12 digs.
Sophomores Krissy Wrobel and Meghan Matusiak were tied for the team lead in kills at eight a piece with Wrobel having a .500 attack percentage.
The Hall started the first set taking a quick three point lead to start the match. USF eventually tied at 11.
Freshman Morgan DeVries would give the Pirates the 17-15 advantage after one of her six kills in the match.
After a USF timeout, the Bulls took the next four points making the score 19-17. The Pirates could not take back the lead losing the first set 25-21.
“South Florida is a good team,” Zeiter said. “They have a lot of different weapons that they use in different ways.”
The second set started with both teams playing evenly before the Bulls jumped out to an 11-7 lead.
The Hall responded by outscoring USF 8-3 taking the lead midway through the second set.
USF answered back by regaining the lead at 17-16 and extended it to 20-16 over the Pirates.
Again, the Bulls’ late advantage was too much for the Hall to come back from, as USF took the second set 25-21.
“(Volleyball) is a momentum game,” Wrobel said. “Anything like a block or kill could get us back in the match, just like Georgetown did against us the game before.”
The third set would start with the Hall taking the first two points.
The Bulls responded by tying the set at 2-2, the last the Pirates would see of the lead. South Florida would add three more to their lead making it 5-2 in the third set.
The Bulls ultimately pulled out to a 19-12 lead proving too much for the Pirates in taking the third set, 25-17, completing the three set sweep.
“USF is a good offensive team and hitting the ball good,” Wrobel said. “We made a lot of errors hitting the ball.”
The Pirates struggled hitting the ball all day with a .088 attack percentage while South Florida had an attacking percentage of .253.
On Saturday, the Hall opened conference play by winning a close five-set match against the Georgetown Hoyas, 26-24, 25-17, 22-25, 26-28, 15-10.
“This win was a huge confidence boost,” Zeiter said. “Georgetown is a team we are competing with for a spot in the conference tournament and it is important to take an early lead on them.”
The five set win for the Hall was led by Matters who had 30 digs in the match. Freshman Olivia Trudeau had a career high in assists with 54, and Matusiak led the team with 18 kills.
The Pirates fell behind late in the first set before a 9-1 string of points would tie the set at 23-23. DeVries would put the Pirates ahead with a kill before teaming up with Matusiak for the block giving the first set to the Hall 26-24.
The momentum gained from the first set carried over to the second set for the Pirates.
After trading points early in the set the Hall pulled away to a six point advantage, 16-10. The Hoyas could not respond with the Pirates taking a 21-13 lead before winning the second set, 25-17, to go up 2-0 in the match.
Even with the 2-0 deficit, the Hoyas would not go away. Georgetown won both the third and fourth set to tie the match at two sets apiece.
“(The fifth set) is a clean slate for both teams,” DeVries said. “It’s a short set and you have to get it done right away.”
Down 10-7, Seton Hall called a timeout. Right out of the break, the Hall got a kill from sophomore Rachael Thornquist and a block from Matusiak, starting the final run of the game.
“The timeout turned the game around,” Zeiter said. “The Matusiak block got us on a roll.”
The Hall would end up taking the lead at 11-10 before finishing off the Hoyas, winning the final set 15-10 after taking the last eight points of the match.
“We are going to have many close games in conference,” Zeiter said. “It’s huge to know we can win those close games in the future.”
The Pirates travel to Milwaukee, Wis. on Oct. 2 to face the Marquette Golden Eagles.
Stephen Valenti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.