Seton Hall Athletics
The Seton Hall volleyball team's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in the program's history ended with a first round loss to #12 BYU in straight sets (16-25, 18-25, 17-25) on Thursday night.
"You have to hand it to BYU," Big East Head Coach of the Year Allie Yaeger said. "But, we set the bar really high this year and I'm so proud of this team. We're very happy about this season."
The Pirates finished with 28 wins and almost doubled their previous program record of eight conference wins with 15 this season.
BYU (26-4) broke out to a fast start and did not look back, exploding to a 7-1 surge early on. The Pirates cut the Cougars' lead to three when it was 13-10, but BYU followed with a 5-1 run that the Cougars used to take set one.
After recording eight blocks in the first set and holding SHU to a -.045 attacking percentage, the Cougars kept on rolling.
Early on in the second set, SHU was hanging in. With the Cougars up 12-11, BYU went on a 3-0 run to make the lead four and the Pirates never got closer than three, raising their hitting percentage to .091 but dropping the set. BYU hit .350, dominating offensively.
The two teams split the first six points before BYU went on a 10-2 surge. The Pirates (28-8), down 13-5, did not go away easily, cutting into the lead and pulling within four to make it 19-15 in favor of the Cougars. BYU closed out the set on a run that sends them into the NCAA Tournament second round where there will take on #14 Arizona.
The Pirates got solid contributions from Molly Grammer, who had six kills, and Amanda Hansen, who ended up with nine. Shelbey and Stacey Manthorpe combined for 10 kills while Shelbey tallied 24 assists and Stacey had 17 digs.
"This experience has been amazing," Shelbey Manthorpe said. "This is my legacy, and I know that for years to come the program is going to do big things."
"We were underdogs all season," Stacey Manthorpe said. "This season was a statement to the NCAA. We're proud have given this to the program."
John Fanta can be reached at email@example.com or on twitter @John_Fanta.