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Women’s volleyball will host the Seton Hall Classic at Walsh Gymnasium this weekend, the Pirates’ second home invitational of the year.
The Pirates totaled three sweeps and one loss in the Seton Hall Invitational two weeks ago, thoroughly beating Cornell, Siena and Rutgers before falling to UNLV (3-1). Stacey and Shelbey Manthorpe both made the All-Tournament Team.
Fordham, Dartmouth and Middle Tennessee State will travel to South Orange for this weekend’s tournament.
“We’re looking to pass well this weekend so we can distribute the ball to all of our hitters,” head coach Allison Yaeger said. “The last couple of matches that we’ve won, we’ve been really focused, which is a change for us from past years. When we’ve won in past years, it’s been in four or five [sets]. This year, we’re winning in three because the girls have that sense of urgency and they’re very focused.”
Seton Hall will enter the weekend with a 7-3 overall record. The team has gone 3-1 in home matches
“Last year, we didn’t have a lot of home matches,” Yaeger said, noting that most strong teams host tournaments. “We weren’t even home until around October. This year, we wanted to make a change. If I could host four, I’d host four.”
“I love it when we have home tournaments,” junior Amanda Hansen said. “We have a great crowd with good energy. We practice in this gym every day, so it really helps when we play here because we know what to expect.”
Hansen, who was All-Tournament last weekend at the Mountain Invitational, registered nine kills and no attack errors in Seton Hall’s most recent win, a 3-0 victor over St. Francis.
“It’s good coming off of a win,” Hansen said. “You leave with the high of winning, and losing to UNLV was kind of a low. But we learned what we needed to work on as a team.”
Last weekend, the Pirates traveled to West Virginia and managed to sweep St. Francis and Montana. Yaeger said that losing to West Virginia in the second match of the tournament was tough, but that she was still okay with going 2-1.
Fordham will walk into Walsh Gymnasium with a 0-10 record, while Dartmouth and Middle Tennessee State will come in at 6-1 and 3-7, respectively.
“Usually when you play teams [with lower records], it’s scary because you can play down to their level,” Hansen said. “It’s still a challenge.”
“Fordham and Dartmouth are very good teams, and we can’t look past them,” Yaeger said. “As soon as we look past a team, that’s when we’re going five [sets] and we’re in trouble. We plan on focusing one match a time this weekend. Middle Tennessee State is very good. We’re very excited they’re coming from where they’re coming from and from the good conference that they play in. We’re very excited for this weekend.”
The Pirates will take on Fordham on Friday at 7 p.m. before playing a double-header on Saturday with Dartmouth at 11:30 a.m. and Middle Tennessee State at 7 p.m.
Thomas Duffy can be reached at email@example.com and on twitter @TJDhoops.