March 13, 2014

Pioneers Drop Thrilling Five-Setter to NJIT

NEWARK, N.J. (March 13, 2014)—Seniors Enzo Mackenzie (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Brad Borsay (Richmond, R.I.) recorded double-doubles in the Sacred Heart men's volleyball team's thrilling five-set loss to NJIT Thursday night in the Fleisher Center. Mackenzie led the Pioneers with 16 kills and 12 digs, while Borsay tallied 15 kills and 11 digs. The loss drops SHU to 7-13 on the season and 2-7 in EIVA play.

The first set started off close with the teams exchanging short runs and the lead. But with Sacred Heart trailing 11-9, consecutive SHU errors sparked a five-point Highlander run that lifted NJIT to what was at that point a significant 16-9 lead. Errors hurt the Pioneers in the opening set as NJIT took it 25-19.

The Highlanders looked as though they were cruising to a set two victory jumping out to a quick 8-3 lead, but Sacred Heart chipped away and cut NJIT's lead to just two points, 22-20, on Raymond Satagaj's (Rocky Hill, Conn.) three-point service run. Capitalizing on three NJIT errors, the Pioneers tied the game at 24 sending it to extra points. The score tied again at 25 before SHU combined a Highlander attack error and a Ben Thomas (Swansea, Ill.) service ace for the 27-25 victory evening the match at a set a piece.

NJIT took an early 3-0 lead in the third set and never looked back. With an ace from Will LeClerc (Fairfield, Conn.), who led the set with five kills, the Pioneers minimized the deficit to two points, 9-7, but could never overcome as the Highlanders continued to increase their lead all the way to another 25-19 win.

The Pioneers dominated the fourth set hitting a combined .524 with just two errors. Borsay posted an errorless set recording all four attempts for kills. He and Mackenzie led the game with four kills each, while R.J. Uhlir (Norfolk, Neb.) posted a .600 set percentage with 12 assists leading Sacred Heart to the 25-13 victory forcing a decisive fifth set. SHU took its first big lead of the game on Satagaj's five-point service run, 10-4, but really sealed the deal with Mackenzie's seven-point run to give the Pioneers a 23-13 lead.

The Highlanders took the first two points of the race-to-15 fifth set, and never relinquished the lead. Sacred Heart managed to tie the game six times before a final 6-2 streak for NJIT gave it the 15-11 win.

Tonight's match wrapped up the Pioneers' nine-game road trip. Sacred Heart returns home to the William H. Pitt Center Thursday, March 20 when they host University of Puerto Rico at 7:00 p.m.