On Tuesday, September 21st, Seton Hall women’s volleyball traveled crosstown to Newark to square off against the NJIT Highlanders in a matchup of local colleges. As the Pirates final game before Big East Conference play, they most certainly sought to make the most of this opportunity.
Right out of the gate in set one, NJIT had a promising start, creating opportunities for scoring in all kinds of ways, including surprise back sets that got Seton Hall on their heels early down 6-3. Despite junior Julia Wilkins and graduate student Amanda Rachwal providing excellent defense up in the front with some amazing blocks, NJIT still held their own, fighting back with a couple defensive stops of their own, preventing any possible Seton Hall run. The set would stay even until the squads were knotted at 17, which is when Seton Hall went on an 8-1 scoring streak led by sophomore Perri Lucas, allowing them to win the first set by a score of 25-18.
With set one already in their back pocket, the Pirates looked to extend their lead over the Highlanders in the next set. Junior Madeline Matheny, aided by senior Madison Fruscha, provided strong play all around as the Pirates looked settled in well into the second set. NJIT held their own, but their sloppy play in the middle of the set was their downfall. Wilkins added to the attack, which in turn led to the win by the same score of 25-18.
The third set was make or break for NJIT in order to avoid a sweep, but the Pirates had other ideas. They kept their foot on the gas and pressured the Highlander defense in the third set, with Lucas and freshman Anna Holland playing major roles and giving the Pirates team the best chance to win. Great defensive down the stretch propelled the Pirates to come out victorious in the last set, winning 25-22.
Head Coach Allison Yaeger’s team improved their record to 8-6, as NJIT fell to 1-12. Matheny led the team in
kills with nine. Freshman Jenna Walsh led the team in aces with three, whereas in accordance with the respective teams, the Pirates led in aces eight to one. Rachwal and Frusha led the team in blocks with four each. Sophomore Taylor Jakubowski led the team in assists with fifteen, and Holland led in digs with eleven. The Pirates next game is September 24th at 7:00 in Storrs, Connecticut where they take on the University of Connecticut Huskies.
Daniel Bartels can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org