Streaky weekend for Pirates
The women’s volleyball team split their weekend games against Big East opponent Villanova and NJIT in the team’s final nonconference match of the season. The weekend split put the team’s record at 8-13 overall and 2-3 in the Big East.
The Pirates were defeated by Villanova 3-1 (22-25, 25-17, 25-18, 25-22) on Oct. 10.
The game took place on Dig Pink day at Walsh Gymnasium with numerous fundraisers taking place to raise money for The Side-Out Foundation, which benefits breast cancer.
“Everything turned out really well,” junior Megan Matusiak said. “We decided to have a bake sale this year and we also had a ton of raffle prizes, both turned out to be amazing. We are very thankful for all of the donations and are happy that it goes to such a great cause.”
The Hall defeated the Wildcats in the first set before dropping the next three sets in the loss.
In the first set, the Pirates took a 12-8 lead. For the rest of the set, the Hall would hold the lead with the Wildcats only able to come within two points with the Pirates winning the 25-22.
To start the second set the Hall took a 9-6 lead before the Wildcats went on a 14-4 run and won the set 25-17.
Sophomore Hannah Hugeback and Matusiak each recorded double-doubles. Hugeback led the team in digs and kills with 23 and 13, respectively, while Matusiak recorded 14 digs and 12 kills in the match.
“We forced them to make the errors instead of us. After the first game, they figured out what we were doing and forced us to make the errors,” Matusiak said. “Eventually, we couldn’t figure out what to do and the errors kept coming. This game was definitely a game that we all have learned from.”
In the first match of the weekend at NJIT on Oct. 7, the Hall dropped the first two sets, but came back and defeated the Highlanders in five sets in their home Newark gymnasium (19-25, 20-25, 25-15, 25-22, 15-11).
“During the 10 minute break in between sets two and three, we all sat in the locker room and calmly talked about the things we were doing wrong,” Matusiak said. “We figured out what we needed to change and finally motivated each other to go back out and come home with a win.”
Against NJIT, Matusiak collected a career-high 26 kills.
“I did what I could. I honestly didn’t realize I had a career night because all I wanted to do was to come home with a win,” Matusiak said.
Hugeback also contributed with 16 kills and 13 digs for the double-double. Freshman Alyssa Warren recorded 22 digs, while sophomore Kalie Marshall also set a career high with 12 digs.
The Pirates are back in action Friday night at in-state Big East rival Rutgers University.
According to Matusiak, the team needs to start out by learning from the mistakes of the Villanova match, winning at Rutgers on Friday to propel themselves into the Big East tournament.
John Provenzano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org