Fairfax, VA - In his collegiate debut freshman Enzo Mackenzie (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) led the Pioneers with 13 kills and six digs but the SHU men's volleyball team was swept Saturday night at the hands of George Mason. The Patriots swung at a .312 clip for the match while the Pioneers were held to a .170 hitting percentage. Senior Tim Sadowski (Salem, NH) had 30 assists in the season opener as SHU fell 19-25, 19-25, 18-25.
George Mason (5-1) jumped out to an 8-4 lead in the first set, taking advantage of five Pioneer errors in the opening stages of the match. Roger Parent (Burlington, CT) got the first SHU point of the 2011 season with one of his eight kills of the night. The Pioneers got to within three at 14-11 on a kill from freshman Jose Juelle, who compiled three kills in the set. SHU would be unable to close the gap, winning back-to-back points just twice down the stretch. The Patriots took the first set 25-19 behind six kills from Mark Jones.
Sacred Heart (0-1) got consecutive kills from Mackenzie and Parent en route to gaining a 5-2 advantage to open the middle stanza. George Mason would answer with five straight points to go back on top 8-6. Jones again paced the Patriots in the set, putting eight kills to the floor for the home team. Mackenzie slammed home a kill to make it 13-12 and bring SHU back within one. George Mason again would get hot to pull away from the Pioneers, taking six of the next seven points to build a 19-13 cushion. The second set ended 25-19 in favor of the Patriots on a SHU hitting error, the Pioneers finished the frame with a .114 attack percentage.
SHU posted its best hitting percentage in the third set, totaling 12 kills and swinging at a .280 pace. The two sides battled back and forth in the early stages of the game as neither team built a two point advantage until the Patriots went up 13-11 on a Brandon Joyner kill. Mike Komlanc (St. Croix, Virgin Islands) added two of his three kills of the night in the set. But George Mason used a 7-2 spurt down the stretch to close out SHU 25-18 in the final set.
The Pioneers tough non-conference schedule continues next weekend at home as Sacred Heart welcomes IPFW and currently ranked #12 Ball State to the Pitt Center.