Feb. 22, 2009
Fairfield, CT - Junior Chris Holden tallied 19 kills and 10 digs and senior Jon Daley added 14 kills and 15 digs as East Stroudsburg held off a furious Sacred Heart comeback for a five set victory (30-26, 33-31, 21-30, 28-30, 15-11) in men's volleyball action Sunday afternoon at the Pitt Center. SHU's Kalani Efstathiou (Beaverton, OR) had a match high 32 kills along with 10 digs for the Pioneers in the loss.
Efstathiou led the Sacred Heart attack throughout, hitting .448 for the match with just six errors in 58 attempts. Senior Barry Smith (Shelton, CT) struggled early on but finished with 16 kills. Sophomore Roger Parent (Burlington, CT) had 10 kills while freshman Mike Komlanc (St. Croix, USVI) had six kills and hit .417. Senior Dan Donohue (Nutley, NJ) had a match high 16 digs. For the Warriors, Eli Porr rang up 11 kills and hit .318 while senior R.J. Roth finished the match with 15 digs.
The Warriors appeared to be on their way to an easy victory, cruising to a win in the first set and then jumping out to an 8-3 lead early in game two. However, after getting down by as many as eight points (20-12), the Pioneers began to move back into the game, winning 16 of the next 24 points to eventually tie the score at 28. After the teams exchange points, Holden finally finished the game off for ESU with a service ace.
Building on the good feeling they had from the comeback in the second set, the Pioneers controlled the third set from wire-to-wire. Sacred Heart's lead ballooned to five points at 10-5 and 18-13. The Warriors made a mini-run to draw within two at 22-20, but the Pioneers ran off eight of the last nine points for the set win. Sacred Heart dominated the fourth set as well, building leads of 15-9 and 20-14. East Stroudsburg again went on a run to draw within 24-22 and the set was back and forth from there with the Pioneers hanging on for a two point to force a decisive fifth set.
It was the Warriors who jumped out to the early in the decisive set, building a 10-5 lead on the strength of three blocks by Jeff Quinn, who finished the match with seven solo blocks and three assists. SHU couldn't dig out of the early hole and ESU held on for the victory.
The Pioneers are back in action Friday night when they host Rutgers-Newark. The match is set for a 7:00 pm start at the Pitt Center.