The Seton Hall women’s volleyball team pieced together a convincing straight-set win over St. John’s on Saturday night in Walsh Gymnasium.
Things did not start so convincing, however, as St. John’s bolted to an early lead. Despite Seton Hall’s best efforts to pull the set closer, it wasn’t until head coach Allison Yaeger called a timeout, with the Pirates down 22-19, that fortunes began to turn around for the home side.
“We had to play flawless volleyball [coming out of the timeout],” Yaeger said. “We knew if we could get them out of system and play flawless on our end, and still be aggressive, that we would come through.”
Seton Hall went on an inspired run following the timeout and ultimately won the set, 28-26, on a kill by Dominique Mason.
The second set began gridlocked, as neither team was willing to give an inch. Halfway through the set, the score remained tied at 14, with both teams in position to take control of the set.
It was in this moment that the Pirates grabbed control of the set, and ultimately the match. On the back of a few errors, Seton Hall grabbed a 17-14 lead, which prompted a St. John’s timeout. But the stoppage proved to do little good for the visitors, who once again fell to an in-system Pirates team.
The Pirates extended their poised play into the third set and picked up right where they left off. Abby Thelen got things started with a block that gave Seton Hall the early lead, and the Pirates would never look back after that point.
St. John’s scrambled to find answers, calling timeouts with Seton Hall up 4-0 and 14-7, but the Red Storm could not recover. The match would be sealed with a kill by Dominique Mason, who ended with 10 on the night.
Abby Thelen exceeded double-digit kills as well, leading both teams with 15 kills. Maggie Cvelbar and Sophia Coffey, meanwhile, played an integral part in setting up those kills, as they finished with 18 and 14 assists, respectively.
The win moves Seton Hall into sole possession of third place, level on wins with second place Creighton. After enduring a 6-2 stretch to start the year, followed by an 0-6 stretch, the Pirates have now rattled off another 6-2 run. Yaeger admits she has liked her team’s recent play, and that moving forward the team has to value every win that is available to them.
“We have to protect our wins,” Yaeger emphasized. “We can’t have any bad losses and we have to keep doing what we’re doing and being consistent on our side of the court.
Kevin Kopf can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @KMKTNF.