Volleyball prepares for tournament on the road
The volleyball team travels to Notre Dame and DePaul this weekend, attempting to solidify its place in the Big East Tournament.
While the Pirates currently sit in the eighth and final playoff spot with an even 5-5 record, Notre Dame is 6-4, landing the Fighting Irish in sixth place.
If Seton Hall wins Friday’s matchup against Notre Dame, the Pirates would be in a three-way tie with the Fighting Irish and Georgetown Hoyas for sixth place.
The Hoyas are positioned between Notre Dame and Seton Hall with an overall record of 16-10 and a 6-5 record in conference play, which includes a 3-2 victory over the Pirates on Oct. 28.
Seton Hall split its weekend series, losing in five sets to Georgetown before defeating Villanova on Sunday.
Against the Wildcats the Pirates played another five set match. The Hall won the first two sets before dropping the next two and taking the fifth set 15-9.
Out of the Pirates’ past four games, this was the volleyball team’s third five-set match, two of which Seton Hall lost.
This time, the Pirates started strong in the final set with a 6-2 lead. With the Wildcats threatening Seton Hall’s advantage, the Pirates scored four straight points before winning the set 15-9 and the overall match.
Leading the attack for the Hall versus Villanova was senior left-handed opposite hitter Meghan Matusiak.
Matusiak recorded a season-best 25 kills in the loss to Georgetown as well as a team-high 19 kills against Villanova.
The Pirates look to use the momentum of its win over the Wildcats this weekend in its last two road games of the season and break a three-game losing streak on the road.
After Sunday’s win, head coach Kris Zeiter thinks the team will regain focus from their successful performance and be ready to play on the road ready this weekend.
“When you go on a four-game losing streak, you worry if they’re focused on getting themselves into the playoffs, and I think today shows that they regained their focus,” Zeiter said. “It was just a blip on the radar, I hope, those four loses, but it looked like today they knew they were fighting for their playoff life. They came ready to play today, so I think that we’re ready to go next weekend. I think we’ve regained our focus and our confidence, and I think we’ll play well next weekend.”
Coming off of her third triple-double of the season, freshman setter Shelbey Manthorpe is focused on teamwork as the key to winning.
“I think that we just need to keep working together and play as a team, not as individuals,” Manthorpe said. “If someone’s struggling, we really need to help them out and just get over it and play hard and win.”
Both Saturday’s match against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in South Bend, Ind. and Sunday’s game against the DePaul Blue Demons in Chicago, Ill. are slated for 2 p.m.
Brandon Biskobing can be reached at Brandon.firstname.lastname@example.org.