The 2019 Seton Hall volleyball squad opened up its fall campaign at the Morgan State Invitational this past weekend, the first of four tournaments which the team will play during the year before entering into conference play near the end of September.
Heading into the season, the team needs to replace major production from its 2018 squad, including the loss of graduating senior and two-time All-Conference performer Abby Thelen. Also departing from the roster were seniors Charise Hagen and Miranda Higginbotham, who ranked third on the team in kills and digs, respectively. The team’s second-place finisher in both digs and kills, Caitlin Koska, who appeared in every game the past two seasons for the Pirates, will also be sorely missed in the lineup.
Regardless of seniors departing, Seton Hall had the task at hand to finish out the invitational strong on Aug. 31 after a disappointing five set loss on day one to hosts Morgan State.
Day two saw the Pirates matched against Quinnipiac, another rarely-seen opponent for Seton Hall, and their freshmen showed out in their second appearance. Raygan Murray led the team in digs, while Reece Koehler and Reagan Hopp led the attack on offense, both finishing near the top of Pirate leaderboards for kills.
Quinnipiac’s defense was too much, though, and they stifled Pirate hitters, holding them to a sub .100 kill percentage. Defense translated into offense for the Bobcats, and they used it to propel them to a 3-0 sweep of the Hall.
The team would finish 0-3 at the tournament, a disappointing start, but will return to South Orange for a home opener against Northern Arizona Sept. 6.
Justin Morris can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Justin_JM12.