Playoff spot at stake for volleyball team
With five positions for the Big East tournament locked up, the volleyball team looks to earn their spot in the tournament as they enter two must-win matches this weekend against St. John’s and Connecticut at Walsh Gymnasium.
The team is coming off a road split, in which they lost to Notre Dame, and beat DePaul.
In the 3-1 loss to Notre Dame, sophomore libero Alyssa Warren recorded her 1,000th career dig, giving her the No. 8 spot on Seton Hall’s all-time digs list.
Warren said she felt great about recording her 1,000th dig, but the team is more important.
“I’m more about what the team is doing than personal things,” Warren said. “I have goals, but I’m more excited about how the team is going to do than myself.”
Warren is on pace to set the school’s all-time dig record by her career’s end.
Head Coach Kris Zeiter said he feels confident that Warren will have that record.
Zeiter also said he feels his team needs more consistency and to come out with a high energy at home.
The Pirates are 6-3 at home as they begin senior weekend.
Zeiter noted that the team plays better at home than on the road because at home the team is more comfortable.
“You just get tired [on the road] and you’re eating out in restaurants all the time and you’re sleeping in a bed that’s not yours,” Zeiter said. “It just wears on you; the recovery is just so much easier when you’re at home.”
Despite defeating both the Red Storm and the Huskies last season, the Pirates have historically struggled against both teams. The Pirates are 8-9 all-time against St. John’s and 10-18 versus UConn.
Zeiter is looking forward to the match against St. John’s because of the recent contests the teams have played.
“It’s quite a rivalry,” he said. “We play the team so much, even in the spring.”
Against UConn, Zeiter thinks Shelbey and Stacey Manthorpe will have some extra motivation because they have played with several of the UConn players in the past.
“I don’t think they’ll want to lose,” Zeiter said.
With their playoff lives up in the air Zeiter is confident in his team’s ability.
“I think it’s motivation,” Zeiter said. “They know what they need to do to get in.”
Warren said that if the team comes out with a sense of urgency, they will win.
“I think if we play together, and worry about what we’re doing on our side of the court and bring a lot of energy, we can beat both of the teams,” Warren said.
This energy could come from the three seniors, Meghan Matusiak, Krissy Wrobel, and Meghan Bonk, who have meant a great deal to the program.
“[Wrobel] is going to be a top five all time blocker, and [Matusiak] is going to be a top three or four all time killer,” Zeiter said. “Bonk has been quite a personality over the last three years; we’ve really come to like and appreciate her.”
With all three seniors about to play their final games at the Hall, big things are expected from Zeiter.
“I expect all three of them to have great senior weekends,” Zeiter said. “And hopefully to send them to the Big East Championship.”
The Pirates will play St. John ‘s on Saturday Nov. 12 and UConn Sunday Nov. 13. Both games are set to start at 2 p.m.
TJ Brennan can be reached at thomas.brennan.student.shu.edu.