Newark, NJ - The Sacred Heart men's volleyball team moved within one victory of its second straight appearance in the EIVA tournament with a 3-0 win over NJIT Tuesday night. Reigning EIVA Hay division player of the week Enzo Mackenzie (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) posted a match high 16 kills and a .500 hitting percentage for the Pioneers. SHU can clinch a spot in the EIVA tournament with a victory Friday night on the road against division leading Juniata.
Sacred Heart (11-8, 5-2 EIVA Hay) chipped away at a small Highlander lead early and squared the first set at 12-12 on one of Bradley Borsay's (Richmond, RI) 13 kills. The Pioneers then went on a big run, claiming eight of the next nine points to build a 20-13 cushion, and forced the home side to burn both of its timeouts. Mackenzie tallied the last point of the frame as SHU went up 1-0 in the match on a 25-18 opening set win.
NJIT (6-19, 0-6 EIVA Hay) rattled off four straight points to grab an 8-7 advantage in the second set. The Highlanders did not trail throughout the middle portion of the game but a SHU kill from Mike Komlanc (St. Croix, Virgin Islands) even the score line late at 21-21. SHU setter Tim Sadowski (Salem, NH) then dumped in a kill to give Sacred Heart its first lead of the frame. Sadowski also totaled 12 of his 35 assists of the night in the second set. The Pioneers claimed three of the next four points and won the set 25-22 with the final tally coming on a Mackenzie service ace.
Sacred Heart exploded onto the court to start the third set and quickly grabbed a 10-4 lead. The advantage grew to eight points, 20-12, following a Roger Parent (Burlington, CT) kill and a NJIT hitting miscue. The Pioneers swung at a match high .371 hitting percentage in the third while the Highlanders only posted eight kills in the frame. NJIT saved four match points before Mackenzie slammed down a kill for the final point of the night, 25-22 in the third.
The Pioneers meet Hay division leading Juniata on the road Friday night with a spot in the EIVA tournament on the line. The Golden Eagles have already clinched the top spot in the division and a berth in the postseason. Sacred Heart can also make the tournament field with a NYU loss to Harvard, that match will also take place Friday night.