Volleyball team looks to earn spot in Big East Championship
With the season winding down, the volleyball team is fighting for its spot in the upcoming Big East Championship. The Pirates (17-7, 5-6) have four-regular season games left on their schedule, but none bigger than the one this Saturday, Nov. 3, against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
The Pirates have lost their last two matches, both away, but return home this upcoming weekend for back-to-back matches.
“You never want to lose in your gym,” sophomore Stacey Manthorpe said. “You never want to lose in front of your crowd.”
Manthorpe, along with twin sister Shelbey Manthorpe and senior middle blocker Morgan DeVries, have been looked at as some of the most consistent players on the team this year. The Manthorpes are leading the team in nearly every statistical category including kills, points and attacks. DeVries is also another prominent contributor, leading the team in blocks.
After a hot start to the season, winning nine of their first 10 games, the Pirates’ schedule stiffened significantly when they entered Big East play. However, the team has been able to hold its own and more, making them one of the more competitive teams in the Big East.
Notre Dame (17-6, 10-1 Big East) comes into the match riding an eight-game win streak and is ranked third in the Big East. They have been dominant over the stretch, blowing out nearly every team they have faced recently. Already having clinched a spot in the Big East Championship, the Irish are looking to win out to get them the best possible seed.
Two key players for the Irish are sophomores Toni Alugbue and Jeni Houser. Combined, the two lead the team in attacking, kills and points.
The Pirates Big East tournament chances are on the line this weekend when they take on Notre Dame at 2 p.m. Saturday and DePaul at 2 p.m. on Sunday at Walsh Gymnasium.
Kenny Lenoci can be reached at email@example.com.