By Corey A. Thomas, Seton Hall University
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – Seton Hall gets back to .500 after upsetting conference juggernaut Xavier in four sets, 3-1 (25-22, 20-25, 25-18, 25-22) Saturday night.
The Pirates came into the match at 7-8, 1-1 in conference play, looking to get back at .500 against Xavier.
Seton Hall started off with a 14-10 deficit in the first set. The Pirates tied it up at 17 after scoring seven of the 10 points scored. Seton Hall senior Danielle Schroeder’s kill put them over giving them the first lead of the set at 19-18. The set remained close until Seton Hall edged the Musketeers 25-22. Sophomore Abby Thelen led the Pirates to win the first set following two consecutive kills from her and teammate Cherise Hennigan.
Xavier came back and took the second set after attacking at 46 percent. The Musketeers led the majority of the set after stating with 8-4 lead. Xavier controlled the set at 23-19, and ultimate won the set 25-20.
The Pirates began the third set with 6-1 run giving them a 10-5 lead. Seton Hall held Xavier to seven percent on attacks. Once again Thelen was the enforcer on the offense, leading the team with four kills. Pirates had their largest lead of the night at seven points. Seton Hall won the 25-18.
The Pirates controlled the fourth and final set. Again the Pirates kicked off the set with a 10-5 lead, eventually gaining a six-point advantage at 14-8. Xavier brought it close at 22-21, but Seton Hall finished off the Musketeers 25-22.
This was a major upset for Seton Hall, as Xavier is regarded as one of the elites in the Big East Conference. Seton Hall was picked to finish seventh in the Big East standing this year.
“We’re definitely an underdog team and very young this year,” Coach Allison Yeager said. “We didn’t play that well against Villanova, and it was very important that we got this win today especially since we had them [Xavier] on the road.”
The third set was the turning point for Seton Hall. They set the tone for the final two sets of the match. Seton Hall never trailed again after the third set.
“When we went back to the locker room, we said to the girls that you had the opportunity to do something great and shocking,” Yeager said. “They ware exited to get back on the court and take that third set.”
Abby Thelen was the impact player of the game as she led the team with 17 kills along with seven digs.
“I didn’t play too hot last night [against Butler] so I had to come out strong tonight,” Abby Thelen said. “I got blocked a lot last night so I had to play smarter and mix my tips and my rolls.”
The Pirates look to add onto their win streak when they take on Georgetown Tuesday, September 27th.