Springfield, MA – The SHU men's volleyball team could not secure a season sweep of Springfield as the Pride knocked off the Pioneers 3-1 Tuesday night. Patrick Sibley (Valley Center, CA) recorded eight kills while posting a team high .500 hitting percentage. However, Sacred Heart managed just a .183 hitting mark overall as SHU fell in a fifth straight contest. Mike Pelletier had a huge match for the Pride, who hit .351 as a team, registering 17 kills on 27 swings en route to a .556 percentage.
Springfield (11-11), the top ranked team in division III, battled back from an early 10-6 deficit to knot the opening set at 17-17 on an Alberto Bravo block. Two straight Pioneer errors gave the Pride a 22-19 advantage and forced SHU head coach Rob Machan to call a timeout. Tommy Crow dropped in one of his four kills of the match to end the first set, 25-21, in favor of the home side.
Sacred Heart (7-8) took an 11-7 advantage in the second set as Roger Parent (Burlington, CT) slammed home a kill, then stepped back to the service line and delivered a pair of aces. Springfield again rallied, claiming six of the next seven points to take a 13-12 lead and force SHU to call for a stoppage. The Pride stretched its cushion to four, 21-17, on a block from Cal Palumbo and Pelletier. This time it would be the Pioneers who went on a run to grab a 23-22 edge on three straight kills, two from Bradley Borsay (Richmond, RI) and one from Enzo Mackenzie (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). SHU was unable to convert on three set points before Mackenzie capitalized with a kill on the fourth to give the Pioneers the second frame, 28-26.
The two sides, even at 1-1 overall, found themselves deadlocked at 22-22 in the third set after a block from Mackenzie and Sibley. Springfield won back-to-back points to take control late and eventually triumphed 25-23 on a Bravo kill. Craig Harvey (Beverly, MA) notched three of his seven digs in the frame, Parent also finished the night with seven digs.
The Pioneers rebounded to start the fourth and gained a 14-10 edge with a Mackenzie kill. The Pride continued its comeback habit and evened the score at 15-15. Palumbo and Bravo had back-to-back kills late in the set to make it 23-21, erasing a slim SHU cushion. Scott McMahan won the next two points for Springfield to end the match 3-1 overall and 25-23 in the fourth with a service ace followed by a kill.
Tim Sadowski (Salem, NH) dished out 35 assists on the night while also supplying two service aces and six digs. Sibley recorded eight blocks at the net to go with his efficient attacking display.
The Sacred Heart men's volleyball team will look to get back in the win column Thursday night as they travel to Stevens Tech for a 7:00 pm non-conference clash.