Pioneers' Comeback Haulted; SHU Drops Five-Setter to Saint Francis U

FAIRFIELD, CONN. (April 4, 2014)—Will LeClerc (Fairfield, Conn.) led the match with a season-high 14 kills as the Sacred Heart men's volleyball team lost a heart breaker Friday night. After dropping the first two sets to Saint Francis U (25-18, 25-20), the Pioneers made a comeback dominating sets three and four (25-13, 25-16). But the comeback was cut short as the Red Flash took the fifth set 15-8 capitalizing on SHU errors. The loss drops Sacred Heart to 10-12 on the season and 5-5 in EIVA play.

The Red Flash opened the match with a 6-1 run for an early lead, but a five-point Sacred Heart run, led by Enzo Mackenzie's (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) strong serving, to take its first lead of the night 7-6. Back-and-forth action caused the score to tie six times throughout the first set. With the score knotted at 15 all, five consecutive SHU errors boosted SFU to a 19-15 lead. From there the Pioneers only score three more points as the Red Flash took the set 25-18.

The teams went point-for-point to open the second set before Doug Dzema's (Manalapan, N.J.) four-point service run, featuring kills from Brad Borsay (Richmond, R.I.) and Jason Kinney (Salem, N.H.), lifted the Pioneers to a 7-4 lead. It was short-lived though as a Mark Kochan kill sparked a 6-1 Red Flash run to reclaim the lead. SFU outscored SHU two-to-one for the rest of the set never letting the Pioneers take another lead. LeClerc came off the bench to lead the second set with five kills hitting .444.

The Pioneers bounced back in set three with strong serving from Mackenzie whose three point service run forced SFU to use their first time out at 7-4, before serving three more times to make the score 9-5. Sacred Heart continued to score at will as they tallied 12 kills for the set. Another strong service run by Borsay forced the Red Flash to burn their final time out. Sacred Heart continued to stretch their lead as they went up 20-10 before closing out the set 25-13.

The fourth set began with one of LeClerc's 14 kills and from the very first point the Pioneers would lead the rest of the set. A service run by Borsay grew the lead giving the Pioneers a 10-4 advantage early on. A SFU timeout at 13-6 did little to stem the tide as a balanced offensive lead by five kills from Borsay and three a piece for Mackenzie, LeClerc, and Sean Nelson (East Hampton, Conn.). The Red Flash fought to regain the lead by the closest they would come was a four point deficit at 19-15. From there the Pioneers scored six of the final seven points to close out the set and level the match 2-2.

The Pioneers were never able to get their offense going in the decisive set as they stumbled over 10 errors allowing Saint Francis an easy victory.

Sacred Heart plays its final home game Saturday, April 5 at 7:00n p.m. when they take on No. 12 Penn State. Before the game, they will honor the four members of the Sacred Heart volleyball team's class of 2014.