Volleyball hosts tournament
Coming hot out of the gate with the team’s most successful start since 1996, the volleyball team hosts its own invitational tournament this weekend.
With a 9-1 record on the sea- son so far, first-year head coach Allison Yaeger is excited to show the home crowd how Seton Hall volleyball is played.
“We get excited,” Yaeger said. “We scream, we yell, we dive on the floor like it’s the match point of the NCAA championship. But I like that because the fans like that. I want to have a good home match so that the fans can see how good we are and how exciting and fun it is to watch so that they come back for the rest of the season.”
Starting Friday, the Pirates host the SHU Invitational, playing Stony Brook on Friday and Morgan State on Saturday. Historically the Pirates match up well with both of the teams, having an all-time record of 4-1 against Stony Brook and beating Morgan State in their only meeting during the 1997 season. Yaeger said she feels that their opponents are more than capable of providing good competition.
“They both come from re- ally good conferences, and that’s what we like to do during this preseason, out of conference and non-conference schedules so that it builds up our RPI before we hit Big East,” Yaeger said, “And that’s exactly what the schedule is doing for us. We’re not playing anyone that is poor. We’re playing everyone who finishes really well, top three to five in their conferences, and we’re playing everyone who plays in tough conferences.”
Playing in their own gym at their own invitational gives the home court advantage for the Pi- rates, something they’ve longed for all season, Yaeger said. According to Yeager, she knows the feeling of playing for the team’s home crowd has the players excited and ready to go.
“The kids are so excited,” Yaeger said.
“Who wouldn’t be? We’ve been on the road for so long, I feel like it’s been months and months already, and now it here. We can be home in front of our home crowd. We have wonderful fans that support us, the student section is great, and the parents support is wonderful as well.”
With so much success coming on the road, winning at home plays even more of an importance for Yaeger. While the Pirates are excited to be coming home, the same cannot be said for their opponents, many of whom are not too fond of Walsh Gymnasium.
“Winning at home, well it’s your home, and winning at home is a big deal.” Yaeger said. “There are actually a lot of teams in the conference whose coaches we’ve talked to and everyone hates playing here. It’s a wonderful, beautiful, volleyball gym to play in. It’s not too big, it’s not too small, and we play really at home.”
The Pirates lone loss came at the hands of the Ohio State Buck- eyes, a team who was receiving votes to be ranked.
Of the Pirates first 10 games of the season, only one has been at home, a 3-0 sweep over an in- state foe in the Princeton Tigers on Wednesday night at Walsh Gymnasium.
The Pirates host the SHU Invitational tournament this weekend against Stony Brook and Morgan State.
Dennis Chambers can be reached at Dennis.Chambers@student.shu.edu