February 9, 2007

SHU Pioneers Fall in Five Game Thriller to Harvard

Feb. 9, 2007

Final Stats

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (February 9, 2007) - The Sacred Heart men's volleyball team had three players with double digit kills but came up just short in their comeback bid, falling to Harvard in a thrilling five game match Friday night in Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association action. Down two games to one, the Pioneers rallied in game four for a 30-22 win to force the decisive game five but fell 15-12 to the Crimson to fall below .500 at 3-4 overall and 0-3 in the league. Harvard improves to 2-2 and 1-2 in the EIVA.

Harvard ran out to a 15-9 lead in game one but the Pioneers, as they have all year, scrapped back and cut it to three, 24-21. The Crimson rattled off three-straight and closed the first game with a 30-23 win, hitting an impressive .440 (15-4-25) as Andy Nelson finished a perfect 4-for-4. In game two, SHU battled their way to a 16-15 lead after trailing 14-12. Junior Chris Yantz (Setauket, NY) made it 17-15 on a service ace and a block by senior John Breen (North Andover, MA) and sophomore Barry Smith (Shelton, CT) on the next point gave SHU a three-point advantage. Up 25-20 and looking to run away with it, Harvard made a stand and rattled off five-straight points to tie it. The Pioneers answered, taking a 28-26 advantage and Breen delivered the win, 30-27, on a kill and ace for the game's final two points.

The Crimson got their offensive groove back in game three, hitting .682, 16-1-22, on the way to a 30-18 win. Harvard opened up a 15-11 lead and built it to 20-13 on back to back kills by Gil Weintraub. Harvard ran off a 10-5 run from there to close it out 30-18. Harvard built a 14-7 lead in game four and looked headed to the win when SHU once again battled their way back. A kill by Yantz brought SHU all the way back on an 11-4 run that knotted the score at 18-18. Tied at 19, the Pioneers closed it out with a 11-3 run from there capped by a kill and service ace from senior Mike Ivers (Philadelphia, PA) on the game's final two points to force the winner take all game five.

Harvard took the early advantage at 3-0 and never trailed in the game, switching sides up 8-6. The Pioneers were able to cut it to 11-10 but three-straight points put the Crimson in position to take the match and Jordan Weitzen delivered with a kill to end it 15-12.

The Pioneers got 13 kills; three solo blocks and a block assist from Ivers while both Smith and junior Brian Rosa (Port Jefferson Station, NY) had 12 kills each. Rosa completed the double double with 11 digs. Breen finished with nine kills in 12 attempts against no errors (.750) while passing out 41 assists, serving two aces, digging seven balls and assisting on five blocks.

Harvard got 15 kills from Brady Weissbourd who also had four solo blocks. Weintraub had 13 kills and Laurence Favrot had 11 with 11 digs. Weitzen and Nelson each had 10 kills apiece.

Sacred Heart returns to the court on Thursday, February 15th at New York University.

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