NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (September 11, 2013) – The Rutgers volleyball team dropped a five-set decision to in-state rival Seton Hall on Wednesday evening in the team’s 2013 home opener. The Scarlet Knights dropped the first two sets before battling back to force a decisive fifth set, but were unable to hold on to a late lead to seal the win.
With the loss, Rutgers falls to 3-5 on the year and Seton Hall improves to 2-5.
The Scarlet Knights held a 13-10 lead in the final frame but the Pirates out-scored the hosts by a 6-1 margin in the final minutes to capture the come-from-behind victory.
“It was great to see us respond to some adversity tonight, especially after the first couple of sets that didn’t go our way,” said head coach C.J. Werneke. “To see us come back and have some grit showed a lot about ourselves. We just need to capitalize sooner than the third game.”
Sophomore outside hitter Alex Lassa (Eagle, Colo.) notched her third double-double of the year, finishing with 18 kills and 14 digs. Freshmen Lauren Cloyd (Champaign, Ill.) and Micaela Anderson (La Canada, Calif.) also contributed double-digit kills, contributing 11 a piece.
Sophomore defensive specialist Ali Schroeter (Bakersfield, Calif.) chipped in with a team-high 17 digs and also added a team-high three service aces.
Seton Hall was led by the Manthorpe sisters, who each notched a double-double. Outside hitter Stacey Manthorpe finished with 14 digs and 13 kills while Shelbey Manthorpe handed out a match-high 39 assists and tallied 11 digs.
After dropping the first two sets by identical scores of 25-20, the Scarlet Knights came out strong to grab a 25-19 win in set three. Rutgers held Seton Hall to a .088 hitting percentage in the frame – the Pirates’ lowest of the match.
RU continued to press forward and captured a four-point win in the fourth set (25-21). The Scarlet Knights battled the Pirates evenly to open the set, but soon fell behind by four points at 7-3. An 8-2 RU run however game the hosts an 11-9 advantage. Four tied scores followed , but RU out-scored the visitors by a 4-1 margin to establish a lead they would not relinquish for the remainder of the set.
The Scarlet Knights carried their strong play into the beginning of the fifth frame and led 7-3 to force a Seton Hall timeout. Rutgers maintained the lead as played continued despite rallies from the Pirates. The hosts led at 13-10 following an unforced error by Seton Hall, but Stacey Manthorpe would go on to record three consecutive kills to lead a 6-1 Pirate run that garnered the win.
Rutgers returns to action on Friday, Sept. 13 at the Delaware Tournament. The Scarlet Knights will begin tournament play against Delaware at 7 p.m. on Friday.
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