The women’s volleyball team defeated the Louisville Cardinals 3-2 (25-20, 25-21, 19-25, 17-25, 15-13) for the team’s first Big East win of the season and first victory over Louisville in program history.
The win gives the Pirates a 6-11 record on the season and a 1-1 record in the Big East.
Senior Sarah Osmun, finished the with a match high 21 kills and 3 digs en route to becoming Seton Hall’s all time career leader in kills with 1,384. The record-breaking kill was her first in the fifth set.
Junior Meghan Matusiak recorded 14 kills, 11 digs and four aces while sophomore Hannah Hugeback added 13 kills and 11 digs.
The team effort was supported by a match high 47 assists from sophomore Olivia Trudeau and a match high 13 digs for Alyssa Warren.
“I had a good feeling about beating Louisville,” head coach Kris Zeiter, said. “The win says a lot about the resiliency of my team. Most coaches go into a weekend like that and know they probably won’t win either game, but we did, and that’s great.”
In the first set, Louisville fell behind 7-2 early in the set and were never able to come within three points of the Pirates, with the Hall taking the first set 25-20.
In the second set, the two teams matched up evenly, keeping the lead extremely close the entire way, with six lead changes and three ties in the set. The Hall went on a 5-2 run capped off with an Olivia Trudeau kill, to win the set 25-21.
After Louisville rallied back to win the next two sets, the Pirates broke a 13-13 tie and won the final set 15-13.
After coming from behind in the first two sets to force extra points (26-24, 27-25) on Friday, the Hall dropped their third set (25-17) in defeat to the No. 25
Cincinnati Bearcats 3-0 in the Pirates first Big East match of the season.
Cincinnati’s Big East Preseason Player of the Year, Stephanie Niemer, finished with a match high 20 kills to go along with 10 digs to lead her team.
The Pirates were again paced by Osmun who finished with 17 kills and 10 digs. Matusiak tallied eight kills and 12 digs of her own, while Warren added 14 digs.
On breaking the record, Osmun did not focus on the personal aspect of it, but she praised her teammates for helping her reach the new record together.
“Volleyball is such a team sport,” Osmun said. “If anything I think it just shows a lot about the teams I’ve played on and how much work we’ve done together as a team.”
Zeiter understands that volleyball is the quintessential team sport.
“In basketball you can do things on your own with the ball,” Zeiter said. “In volleyball, you can’t do anything unless you get a good setup, and Sarah understands that. She’s very modest and laid back.”
Zeiter said it was clear from the beginning that Osmun was going to be something great for the women’s volleyball program.
“I told her when I recruited her that if she came to Seton Hall, she could help us do some special things,” Zeiter said. “We beat Cincinnati for the first time ever in her freshman year, made the playoffs for the first time, and now we’ve beaten Louisville for the first time ever.”
As for Osmun, her mantra is quite simple.
“Win. Just keep getting better,” Osmun said. “Beating Louisville shows how much we really want to win. The rank of the team doesn’t matter, as long as you give the effort.”
The Seton Hall women’s volleyball team continues Big East play by hosting West Virginia on Oct. 2 before welcoming Pittsburgh to Walsh Gymnasium on Oct. 3.
John Lopiano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.