Fairfield, Conn. (February 15, 2013)—The Pioneers battled Saint Francis U Friday night for the NEC Cup, taking the first two sets into extra points, but the Sacred Heart Men's Volleyball Team fell in three sets. Brad Borsay (Richmond, R.I.) led the team with 12 kills, and crafty setter Benjamin Thomas (Swansea, Ill.) was a perfect four-or-four in attacks as SHU falls to 1-7 on the season and 0-3 against Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association opponents.
Sacred Heart dug itself into a hole early in the first set with attack errors giving the Red Flash a 5-1 lead, but the Pioneers battled back with service runs by Adrian Fernandez (San Juan, PR) and Raymond Satagaj (Rocky Hill, Conn.) bringing SHU back to tie the score at 12 and force SFU to use a timeout. The teams exchanged points briefly before Thomas's four-point service run gave Sacred Heart a 17-14 lead. The Pioneers maintain the lead until a kill by SFU's Lucas Patterson tied the set at 23 and forced Sacred Heart Head Coach Kalani Efstathiou to call a timeout. The teams combined for three hitting errors giving the Red Flash the 25-24 lead. Errors hurt the Pioneers in the end. Twice on set point, Sacred Heart committed errors, giving SFU the one-set lead 30-28. Borsay led the set with six kills as the Pioneers outkilled the Red Flash 17-15.
It was the Pioneers who jumped out to a lead in the second set, maintaining it all the way until the Red Flash tied the set at nine. Colin Sherwin's four-point service run then gave SFU a three-point lead, 13-10. Sacred Heart worked its way back, chipping away, to knot the game at 19. From there the teams exchanged points tying the game once again at 23. Patterson broke the tie with a kill giving the Red Flash the advantage, but Borsay answered with one of his own tying the set and sending it into extra points. It was a battle for the finish line with neither team willing to give up set point, but with Saint Francis up 32-31, Sherwin sent down a kill giving SFU the 2-0 match lead heading into the break. Thomas and Satagaj lead the set hitting 1.000 (2-2) and .750 (3-4) respectively.
Sacred Heart maintained a lead throughout beginning of the third set, but a five-point service run by SFU's Michael Krepp gave the Red Flash a 9-7 lead that they would not relinquish for the rest of the set. The Pioneers only managed to string one run together as Saint Francis took the set 25-20.
The Pioneers are back in action tomorrow night against the first place Penn State Nittany Lions at 8:00 p.m.