Seton Hall Athletics
The Seton Hall volleyball team dropped a 3-1 decision in the Big East Championship game on Saturday to the conference-champion Creighton Bluejays.
Senior Stacey Manthorpe finished with a team-high 18 kills in the match while junior Molly Grammer had 12 of her own. Big East Libero of the Year Tessa Fournier contributed with 18 kills, but it was All-Big East First Team selection Shelbey Manthorpe who had 21 digs. The senior, who has continually driven the Pirates' high-powered attack throughout the season, tallied 38 assists out of The Hall's 47.
The Pirates' attacking percentage never was consistent in the match, as the team hit .349 in the second set but was under .100 in the remaining three and in negative territory in the fourth.
Creighton's Jess Bird led the attack with 18 kills while Maggie Baumert set up the offense with 54 assists. Big East Tournament MVP Lauren Smith powered the Bluejays' well-balanced attack with 11 kills, 11 blocking assists, totaling for 16.5 points. Melanie Jereb and Maggie Baumert combine for 32 digs in the match. ?
The Pirates (28-7) responded from a 25-12 set one loss with an answer of their own.
Junior Molly Grammer recorded three straight kills followed by a block in the second to make it 13-5 in favor of the Hall. Creighton got within four of the Pirates before senior Stacey Manthorpe kept Seton Hall in front, making it 19-15 with her ninth kill of the match.
Both Grammer and Manthorpe had nine kills each by the end of the second set, giving the Pirates the victory.
In the third, it was more of the same for Seton Hall until the Bluejays found some late magic. Leading 21-17, the Pirates saw their lead go away as Creighton tied the set up at 22. The Hall had the lead once more, 24-23, before surrendering the next three points.
In the fourth, the Bluejays broke out on a 10-5 run and never looked back, taking the match and their first Big East title.?
Seton Hall will find out its NCAA Tournament fate as the Pirates hope for an at-large berth on Sunday. The Selection Show will air on ESPNU at 8:30 p.m. ET.
According to the latest calculations, the Pirates are on the bubble, but a Big East semifinal win over Marquette, which has an RPI of 26, helps their cause on Sunday.
John Fanta can be reached at email@example.com or on twitter @John_Fanta