The women’s volleyball team rallied back in its opening match of the Tribe Invitational last weekend to secure a win before dropping the following two games to open the season at 1-2.
The Pirates found themselves down two sets 2-0 against host school William and Mary before sweeping the last three sets for a 3-2 (25-27, 22-25, 25-22, 25-17, 15-9) victory in their first match. Senior Sarah Osmun and sophomore Hannah Hugeback both recorded double-doubles. Osmun tallied 26 kills and 13 digs while Hugeback finished with 13 kills and 15 digs of her own.
Sophomore Olivia Trudeau joined the double-double brigade with a career high 55 assists to go along with 12 digs.
Seton Hall dropped the final two games at the Tribe Invitational with a pair of losses: a close one to Winthrop 2-3 (25-19, 25-17, 26-28, 26-28, 15-11) and a sweep at the hands of the Wisconsin Badgers 3-0 (25-16, 27-25, 25-17).
Osmun continued to lead the way with 14 and 12 kills in the losses respectively.
“I definitely want to be more consistent and I want to be a player that my team can look to in tough situations,” Osmun said.
Osmun, currently third on the all-time kills list at Seton Hall with 1,210 after this weekend’s action, returns to a Pirates team that loses only one starter from a year ago.
The starting spot that needs to be filled is the one left by Allie Matters, who graduated the Hall last year as the all-time digs leader in school history. Freshman Alyssa Warren had a strong debut in her stead at libero over the weekend, racking up 67 digs for a 5.5 dig per set average.
In Matters though, the Pirates not only lost a starter, but a team leader. Coach and players alike are not worried about leadership being an issue with this year’s squad.
“This is not the kind of team to be led by one individual person,” Zeiter said. “It’s going to be the kind of team that’s led by the nine girls we have returning.”
The younger Pirates have certainly made contributions already. Trudeau led the Big East in assists per game as a freshman with an 11.53 average in conference play. All of the Pirates will be called upon this year to repeat the success of a year ago.
“The collective leadership of our team is good in the sense that it makes everyone more accountable for their actions,” Osmun said. “It is tough losing her but it forces us to grow up a little bit and mature as players.”
The experience of making the first Big East Tournament provides some encouragement. After a 6-8 Big East record, the Pirates held onto the eighth seed.
“It’s what we’ve worked for since I got here,” Zeiter said.
This year expectations are raised as the Pirates are predicted to make the Big East Tournament again with a seventh place finish.
“It definitely raises our expectation and makes it so that we expect to get back to where we were,” Osmun said. “Instead of just making it to the postseason, we expect to take games and be higher than the eighth seed.”
The Hall returns to action this Friday at the Nittany Lion Invitational where they will face host Penn State, Virginia Commonwealth and Colgate respectively.