Hall travels to face Hoyas
The volleyball team, off to their best start in program history, will take their 11-game winning streak on the road for conference matches against Georgetown on Friday and Villanova on Sunday.
First-year head coach Alison Yaeger said she is confident in the team’s play on the road after playing the majority of their early season away from Walsh Gymnasium.
“I don’t think it fazes the girls,” Yaeger said. “We just wor- ry about who we are playing and what we do on our side of the net and we have been successful.”
The Pirates enter the weekend with a record of 14-1, following a sweep of Saint Peter’s Tuesday night.
Georgetown has lost their last eight matches, including their first two conference contests against Connecticut and St. John’s. The Hoyas will be looking to earn their first home win of the season against the Pirates.
Yaeger said despite the Hoyas’ poor record, nobody is taking them lightly.
“None of us are too relaxed,” Yaeger said. “Georgetown had a really good start to their season and we are not going to take anyone for granted in the Big East. We don’t enter games thinking we are definitely going to roll over anyone. Everyone in the Big East is tough.”
The Pirates hold an all-time record of 8-20 against Georgetown, including a five-set Hoyas win last season.
Sophomore Alex Johnson leads the young Hoyas team, made up of nine underclassmen in kills and digs.
The Pirates are expecting to see the continued leadership from sophomore twins Shelbey and Stacey Manthorpe, who did not play in Tuesday’s match.
“We have a really young team that keeps you excited for not only this season, but for the future of our program,” Yaeger said. “They keep us working harder, people forget how young the twins really are and that they will be around for a while.”
Stacey Manthorpe leads the team in kills on the season, while Shelbey Manthorpe leads in assists.
Villanova will face Rutgers University Friday prior to playing Seton Hall, but have been on a six game skid since Sept. 14. The Wildcats have a record of 3-9. Their two home wins of the season took place in late August during the Villanova Classic against Robert Morris and New Hampshire.
The Pirates hold a 10-22 all-time advantage over Villanova, but the Pirates beat the Wildcats in five sets last season at home.
Despite their losing record, Villanova is known for being a strong defensive and serving team and leads the Big East in digs per set.
“We worry about us and our passing first,” Yaegar said. “I always tell the girls against hard defenses that as long as we stay patient we are good enough to get the ball down.”
Last week the Pirates prepared for Pittsburgh, another strong serving team. According to Yae- ger, the Pirates plan to execute the same way in this match.
“Last week all we worked on in practice was serve receive, and it paid off,” Yaeger said. “We are getting better and better at stopping aces and we were able to run the offense well and we want to do the same thing against both teams this weekend.”
The Pirates will face Georgetown at 7p.m. on Friday and Villanova at 1p.m. on Saturday.
Stephanie Vedral can be reached at Stephanie.Vedral@ student.shu.edu