In six seasons at Seton Hall, women’s volleyball coach Allison Yaeger has made a name for herself. With a 3-0 sweep of Providence on Sept. 30, Yaeger secured win No. 100, good for second all-time among Pirate head coaches.
“I knew it was coming, and I felt like it was a long time coming because we had a little bit of a losing streak going,” Yaeger said. “But I knew going into that Providence game that it was a possibility.”
Yaeger led the team to a 6-2 run to start the season and by Sept. 9 she was just two wins away from No. 100. Unfortunately for Yaeger, she had to wait nearly a month to get win No. 99 – a 3-0 victory over DePaul on Sept. 23. The team finally got to celebrate with its coach just one week later.
“All of us knew, and we kept up with it,” senior Sarah Kenneweg said. “I was really, really happy for her, and happy that we could do it at home as well.”
Yaeger has had a great deal of success since becoming head coach in 2012. She led Seton Hall to its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2014, a season in which the Pirates finished with a 28-8 record.
Out of her 100 wins, Yaeger said that one of her all-time favorites was the 3-2 victory over Marquette in the semifinals of the 2014 Big East Tournament.
“That got us into the championship game against Creighton,” Yaeger said. “That was one of the biggest accomplishments I think that this program has ever had.”
The decoration that the program has received in its last six seasons goes beyond what the volleyball team has accomplished on the court. For Yaeger, the goal is to rebrand the culture of the program – something that she believes has changed significantly since she became the head coach.
“To be disciplined is one of the biggest things. I want to be well-known around campus to have good kids,” Yaeger said. “They have great heads on their shoulders and they’re going places. I always want to make sure the girls know everyone. Whether it’s administrators or whether it’s athletic trainers, I don’t want them to ignore anybody.”
In addition to respect around campus, Yaeger wants her players to feel at home at the Hall.
“This program is everything to me. It’s my baby, it’s like a part of my family. The girls and the coaching staff are a part of my family,” Yaeger said. “That’s another thing that we’ve built – it’s a family-oriented culture.”
“She really helped me get acclimated to the school,” Kenneweg said. “If I needed anything I knew I could go to her, especially with volleyball. I would not have been able to stay here or be who I am today without coach [Yaeger] as a head coach.”
Despite all of her accomplishments, Yaeger still feels it strange to hear she has the second most wins of any head coach in program history. She sits behind Stephanie Hoenig-Mosé, who had 214 wins in her tenure from the program’s first year in 1987 until 1998.
“It’s crazy,” Yaeger said. “The more people say it, the more it really hits you, like ‘Oh my God, I’m second on the list of wins.’”
Seton Hall has reached uncharted territory with Yaeger at the helm. A mainstay for the SHU volleyball program, Yaeger continues to build her legacy in South Orange with each win.
Matt Lapolla can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MatthewLapolla.