Pirates drop final home game of the season to Villanova, 3-1Date: November 23, 2019
By: Ronny Castaneda
Seton Hall dropped their final home match of the season to the Villanova Wildcats. For their seniors Haylee Gasser, Maggie Cvelbar and Madison Salkowski, it would be the final time they would defend their home court, in front of raging fans holding signs showing their appreciation for representing Pirate Blue proudly throughout their college career.
Villanova entered the matchup with the Big East Tournament already in sight with a 11-5 record sitting at third in the conference. Despite post-season aspirations, the wildcats were hoping to brush back-to-back losses to DePaul and No. 9 Marquette.
On the other side, the Pirates are trying to send their seniors out of Walsh Gymnasium on a good note for the final time. Before heading off on their final games as Pirates. Also trying to make the best of a lackluster season hoping to end its home stint with a win.
The first set proved to be a test for the Pirates as neither team saw a lead greater than Villanova’s 9-6 lead early. The Pirates managed to grind out the set and come back to win 25-23, despite Nova leading in kills and hitting percentage. It was the Pirates first set win in their previous seven.
The second set would start off in a similar fashion as the first with both teams going back-and-forth. Villanova would prove their position at third in the Big East by complete dominating the Pirates in the second set, winning 25-16. After being down early in the third set, the Pirates went on a 7-1 run to tie up at 11. From there it would become another neck and neck game between both teams, with neither a lead greater than three. Villanova would come back on a scoring run to closing out the set 25-23, giving them a commanding 2-1
The Pirates would come out guns blazing in the fourth set taking an earl 5-0 lead forcing the Wildcats into a time out. They wouldn’t slow down extending the lead to seven halfway through the set. Nova would be far from done, going on an 8-1 run to tie the set at 12. The wildcats would look back taking a five-point lead. Villanova would win the set, 25-19, and ultimately the match 3-1.
Gasser would lead both teams in kills with 14. Amanda Rachwal and Reece Koehler would match up with 10 kills of their own. For the Wildcats, Emma Decker had an astounding 46 assists and Sophia Howling led her team with 13 kills.
The Wildcats move on to 12-5 on the season fully cementing their spot in the Big East Tournament. Before that they will head back home and take on St. John’s. For the Pirates, they will travel down to D.C on Sunday to take on the Hoyas of Georgetown.
Ronny Castaneda can be reached at email@example.com.