After dropping the first two games of the invitational, the Pirate rallied Saturday morning to beat Rutgers in five sets. Senior Danielle Schroeder’s season-high 17 kills ignited the Pirates to rally from down two sets to win the game.
The first two sets were very tight, with the teams separated by four points total, Rutgers leading 53-49. Rutgers started the first set on a 5-0 run and forced the Pirates to try to claw their way back, only to lose by two. There was a bit of a role reversal in the second set, as the Pirates gave the Scarlet Knights a taste of their own medicine, opening up a 5-2 run; only this time, the Scarlet Knights completed the comeback in a hard fought 2-point win once again.
Seton Hall, with backs against the wall, was forced to win three straight sets in order to secure the victory, and they did just that.
The Pirates 10-4 run to open the third set forced a Rutgers timeout. The Scarlet Knights never really developed a rhythm as the score continued to 19-10, way of The Hall. Sophomore Sophia Coffey dished out three assists to complete the 25-17 win.
More of the same came as the Pirates won set four by nine points. Then came crunch time, both teams desperately needing the win to get their season back on the right track.
The fifth set kept changing hands as both sides had the lead. This was, expectedly, the tightest set of them all, with a total of ten ties and the largest lead being two. Rutgers was up 12-10 and were not too far from the victory, but thanks to a service error and two more assists from Coffey, the game was tied again at 13. Then came huge blocks by sophomore Caitlin Koska and freshman Haylee Gasser, forcing a Rutgers timeout. A kill from Schroeder sealed the deal for the Pirates in the comeback win.
Seton Hall (6-7) will start conference play Tuesday, Sept. 20, when they will take on Villanova (7-5) away at 7 p.m.
Evando Thompson can be reached at email@example.com.