The Seton Hall volleyball team split their two-game series against Providence to open their Big East season with a win and a loss this past weekend.
On day one of the two day match, Providence came out striking first. They went on a 3-0 scoring run early in the first set until a kill by Seton Hall’s Tsvetelina Ilieva ended the run.
Overall both teams were neck and neck until the Friars took a nine-point lead, forcing Seton Hall to call a timeout. Careless mistakes on Providence’s end - such as an attack and service error - allowed the Hall to cut their deficit down to only eight, but that’s as close as they were able to get and dropped the first set 25-15 to Providence.
In the second set, Seton Hall struck first. After going on a 2-0 run, they took their first lead of the game to go ahead of the Friars 3-2. A 4-0 run by Seton Hall put them ahead of the Friars 11-7. The Pirates forced the Friars into a timeout after going up by seven points, but Seton Hall continued to dominate the set and secured their own 25-15 win to tie the match at 1-1.
The Pirates and Friars went back and forth for the majority of the third set, but the Hall's Peri Lucas helped the team edge out the Friars with six kills. The Pirates won the third set 25-20, putting them in front 2-1 heading into the fourth set of the match.
Providence scored first, but Seton Hall mustered another 4-0 run to get an early 5-1 lead over the Friars. However, Providence would not be silenced. They responded with their own 4-0 run to tie the game at eight points each. After getting off to a good start, the Pirates took their foot off the gas and allowed Providence to walk out the set with a 25-21 win. The match was all tied up at two sets each.
Seton Hall held Providence to a .000 attack percentage in the final set, but found itself down 4-0 at the start. Despite the Friars' hot start to the set, Seton Hall slowed their opponents' momentum down out of a timeout and managed to take a 7-6 lead. A Friars attack error put The Hall in match point, 14-9, and two points later, a kill by Julia Wilkins won the match for the Pirates.
At the start of the second match on Saturday, Seton Hall came out on a roll. The Pirates went on an early 3-0 run, but it was ended with an attack error by Lucas, which gave the Friars their first point. Both teams were neck-and-neck for much of the set until Providence took a late two-point lead atop the Pirates 18-16. The Hall never took their lead back, and the set ended with a score of 25-23. The Friars took a 1-0 advantage in the match.
In the second set, the Friars came out with the same momentum. They took a six-point lead, but the Pirates wouldn’t budge. They came within three, forcing the Friars to call a timeout, but they returned to the court with a reinvigorated confidence. They led by as many as 10 toward the end of the set, but a block by the Hall’s Emilee Turner and kill by Lucas cut the Friars' lead to six. That’s as close as the Pirates came, though, as the Friars won the set 25-18 to take 2-0 lead in the match.
Seton Hall took an early 6-2 lead at the start of the third set, but Providence fought back to tie the set at 8-8. A kill by the Friars' Elena Leontaridou put Providence in front, and they went on to sweep the match by winning the third set 25-18.
Despite the loss, the Hall had some bright spots. Ilieva led the team with 14 kills and six digs. Behind her was Lucas with nine kills and 11 digs.
On the other side of the ball, Jennifer Leitman led the Friars with 12 kills and four digs. Emma Fink had eight kills and five digs.
The Pirates are 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big East. They will be back in action on Friday, Mar. 12, and Saturday, March 13 to face St. John's. Both matches are set for 5:00pm.
Ashley Howard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.