The Seton Hall women’s volleyball team began Big East play on Wednesday evening against Villanova University, losing the match 3-1. The team now sits at 5-9 on the season and are still winless away from Walsh Gymnasium. They also fall 16-27 all-time against Villanova.
Seton Hall struggled early in the first set, trailing 11-7 by its first timeout. Abby Thelen, however, led the team on a 6-2 run to get the Pirates back to 14-13. The first set would continue with more action, as both teams were tied at 22.
After calling a second timeout down 23-22, Thelen came up clutch again for the Pirates scoring three straight kills to give Seton Hall the first set 25-22. Overall, Thelen put up six kills and no attack errors in the set.
The Pirates would put up a fight for set two, but eventually lost 25-21. In set three, the Pirates and Wildcats engaged in another entertaining contest. Seton Hall went up 10-9 until Villanova went on a 6-1 run to lead 15-11, forcing the Pirates to burn a timeout. After that, the Wildcats would win set three 25-20, despite a Seton Hall comeback towards the end.
For set four, Seton Hall continued to push through, putting up another close fight. After trailing 5-2, they put on an 11-4 run to lead 13-9 at one point. The match would eventually be tied at 21, but the Pirates still could not hold on as the Wildcats finished the set 25-23 and ultimately the match.
Thelen continued her strong season and finished her evening with a season-high 20 kills and only two attack errors. Caitlin Koska recorded 13 kills and 13 digs. Maggie Cvelbar and Sophia Coffey would also have double-doubles, as Cvelbar would have 21 assists and 13 digs while Coffey would team high 26 assists and 10 digs. Eden Dolezal also recorded a team-high 14 assists.
The Pirates will return home on Friday, Sep. 21 at 7 p.m., when they face Butler University.
Ryan Beltran can be reached at Ryan.Beltran@student.shu.edu or on Twitter @RyanB591011.