Seton Hall volleyball (13-14) defeated the Georgetown Hoyas (6-20) in four sets (25-21, 14-25, 25-8, 25-15) on Friday night.
The Pirates, coming off of a straight set victory against Providence on Oct. 29, rode the momentum into Friday’s win and controlled play throughout, concluding with a dominant final two sets. This victory was Seton Hall’s second win over the Hoyas this season and improved the Pirates’ conference record to 7-7 this year.
“We are playing the best ball we have played this year,” head coach Allison Yaeger said. “Abby (Thelen) is finally taking over; she was Big East Player of the Week last week. Dominique Mason had a phenomenal performance tonight, and we continue to see growth out of the freshman middles.”
Indeed, Dominique Mason’s amazing play was a major catalyst for the Pirates. Her 22 kills led the team, while Abby Thelen recorded 11 kills for Seton Hall. On defense, Grace Forren and Tessa Fournier had 14 and 12 digs, respectively, and did an excellent job of stifling the Hoyas’ offense. Winning this game was also crucial to the Pirates’ Big East Tournament hopes, and keeps them within reach of the fourth seed.
“Right now, tomorrow is everything to us,” added Yaeger. She wants her team’s focus for the next 24 hours to be entirely on defeating Villanova to lock down the fourth Tournament seed.
In the first set, Georgetown came out strong, controlling the tempo of the game until Seton Hall found its rhythm. The Pirates never let the Hoyas get too far out of reach, and with the score tied, 15-15, Seton Hall’s offense got to work, preventing Georgetown from regaining the lead and cruising to a comfortable four-point set win.
The second set saw Georgetown’s offense come to life against the Pirates. The Hoyas controlled the set, and the 11-point lead they held by set’s end proved insurmountable for the Pirates. However, Seton Hall bounced back in the last two sets, offensively and defensively controlling play against its conference rival.
A combination of Georgetown errors and great play from Mason in the third set was enough for the Pirates to take that set by 17 points. Feeling confident from that set, the Pirates cruised past the Hoyas in the final set of the match by ten points for the victory.
With little time to rest and recover from this game, Seton Hall takes on Villanova (16-9) in Walsh Gym on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m., looking to take down the Wildcats in another crucial conference matchup. If they win, the Pirates will be in great position to maintain the fourth seed in the Big East Tournament.
“Tomorrow is a must win,” emphasized Seton Hall’s Miranda Higginbotham. “I think as long as we’re in system and we’re serving aggressive and keeping Villanova out of system…we’ll be good.”
Bob Towey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BobTowey5.