Pirates Drop Critical Fifth Set In Loss At PrincetonDate: September 7, 2017
By: Chris Russo
After two dominant performances against Buffalo and Rutgers, the Pirates’ luck ran out Wednesday night at Princeton, where they fell in five sets.
The Pirates made the short drive to visit their Ivy League neighbors, but their welcome was not as pleasant as they would have liked.
Seton Hall took full advantage of the opening set, blowing out the Tigers by the score of 25-16. Princeton took the second set, and probably The Hall’s biggest missed opportunity of the match. The Pirates clawed back from down 24-21, with Princeton’s Maggie O’Connell committing a service error cutting the Tiger lead to 24-23. However, Karma struck when SHU Freshman Amanda Rachwal committed a service error of her own to give Princeton the set.
With the momentum on the home team’s side, Princeton took full ownership of the third set, 25-14.
The Pirates gave their best effort with their backs at the wall, never trailing after tying the set at 12. They would hold off the Tigers 25-21 to force a decisive fifth set.
The Hall gave a valiant effort in the shortened, winner-take-all set, but was unable to deliver the KO. Princeton never trailed in the final set, even though SHU spent the majority of the time within 1-2 points of their opponents. Ultimately, the Tigers took set five 15-12 to seal the match, improving their record to 3-1, and reducing the Pirates’ record to 4-2.
The Tigers seemed to be the better team, but SHU had its chances. Besides the evenly played second set and the fifth set struggle, SHU benefitted from Princeton’s mistakes, as the Tigers committed 10 more attack errors than the Pirates did.
The biggest difference maker was Princeton’s Jessie Harris, who recorded an astounding 54 assists. Abby Thelen registered her third double-double of the season with a team-leading 15 kills and 11 digs.
The Pirates are back in action on Friday when they take part in the Redbird Classic in Normal, Ill. where their first match will be against former BIG EAST rival Cincinnati on at 5 p.m. ET.
Chris Russo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org