March 1, 2009
Fairfield, CT - Junior Kalani Efstathiou (Beaverton, OR) hit .321 with 13 kills and 7 digs to lead Sacred Heart to a 3-0 sweep of New Haven in men's volleyball action Sunday afternoon at the Pitt Center. The Pioneers won the match in convincing fashion by scores of 30-20, 30-24 and 30-15 to improve to 8-6 on the season.
Also turning in a solid performance for the Pioneers was senior Barry Smith (Shelton, CT) who rang up seven kills, four digs and 2.5 blocks. Freshman Mike Komlanc (St. Croix, USVI) had 6.5 blocks for the Pioneers who tallied 12 total blocks and seven service aces as a team in the match. Greg Brisbane led the way for the Chargers, finishing the day with 10 kills and five digs.
Sacred Heart controlled all three sets virtually from wire-to-wire. The Chargers hung tough in the first set as the Pioneers built leads of 10-8 and 20-15. The Pioneers closed the set by winning 10 of the final 15 points to claim the victory. Efstathiou had four kills in the opening set while sophomore Jon Mercado (Corona, NY) put down three winners for the red and white.
The Chargers were again able to hang around in the second set, closing an 18-13 deficit to 20-18 midway through the set. However, as they did in the first set, the Pioneers closed the round on a 10-6 run to go up 2-0. Efstathiou hit .500 in the middle set, putting down seven kills in 12 tries. Komlanc had three kills and two blocks. Brisbin rang up seven kills for the Chargers.
After seizing control of the match the Pioneers dominated the third set, racing out to a 9-6 lead and expanding that to an edge as big as 21-9 at one point before cursing home for the victory. Smith had three kills for SHU while Komlanc added three more solo blocks.
Sacred Heart and New Haven will meet in the back end of a home-and-home series Wednesday night in New Haven. The match will start at 7:00 pm.