The Seton Hall women’s volleyball team (16-15, 10-8) took on the Creighton Bluejays (24-6, 18-0) in the Big East Semifinals on Friday afternoon. The Bluejays defeated the Pirates (25-16, 25-19, 25-22) in straight sets.
The Pirates battled their way into the tournament following back-to-back Big East wins to close out the regular season. Creighton is seeking its third straight Big East title after going undefeated in conference play. During the regular season, Creighton won both match-ups against Seton Hall in straight sets.
After a slow start, Seton Hall battled its way back into the first set. Offense was hard to come by due to Creighton’s strong front line. Seton Hall manufactured only eight kills against the stingy Bluejay defense, and errors down the stretch led to Creighton taking set one by a score of 25-16. They finished the set on a 7-0 run thanks to the work of Bluejay sophomore Taryn Kloth, who had six kills and a block to lead the way for a first-set victory.
The second set was also tightly contested, as both teams traded points until the very end. Pirate senior, Danielle Schroeder sliced her way through the Creighton defense and racked up six kills in the second set of what would be her last match in a Pirate uniform. After closing the deficit to as little as two, the Bluejays high-powered offense buried the Pirates to take set two by a score of 25-19.
Seton Hall and Creighton went point-for-point in the early stages of set number three. Both teams struggled to maintain service, and the Pirates refused to bow out without a fight. Abby Thelen, the junior middle blocker, energized the front line to keep the Pirates alive and racked up six kills in the set. With the score tied at 12-12, the Creighton Bluejays scored three unanswered points, but the Pirates answered with four of their own to make it 16-15. Tied at 20, Creighton capitalized on the worn out Seton Hall defense, and a spike by Kloth secured a Creighton victory.
Sophomore Jaali Winters finished with 12 kills for Creighton and Kloth finished with 10 kills. Despite the tough loss, Seton Hall saw strong performances from Dominique Mason and Thelen, who had nine kills each.
Creighton will take on the winner of Marquette and Xavier on Sunday for the Big East Championship title.
James Sherry can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @JSherry2324.