April 16, 2010
CAMBRIDGE, MA - Senior Kalani Efstathiou (Beaverton, OR) had 23 kills and the game-winning block on the final point of the fifth set to lead the Sacred Heart men's volleyball team to a 3-2 (30-23, 31-33, 32-30, 26-30, 15-13) win at Harvard Friday night.
The Pioneers, 18-10 overall and 5-3 in the EIVA Hay Division, took the first set easily, 30-23, and held a 24-20 lead in the second when the Crimson came storming back. Harvard won eight of the next 12 points to tie the game at 28-28. A kill by junior Craig Harvey (Beverly, MA) gave SHU a set point at 29-28 but Harvard got one of their own on the ensuing Harvey serve. The two teams traded points until the Crimson finally won it 33-31 on a Erik Kuld kill.
"Craig Harvey has come to every practice and every match like a professional," said head coach Rob Machan of his hitter who had 14 kills Friday. "We always know we can count on him and his presence and demeanor on the court is very important for us."
Set three turned out to be another tight affair. Harvard, 5-15, had a set point and the serve but the Pioneers used a Roger Parent (Burlington, CT) kill to tie it at 30-30. A block by Efstathiou and Tim Sadowski (Salem, NH) gave the Pioneers a 31-30 lead and Efstathiou put the set away with a kill.
Harvard evened the match with a 30-26 win in the fourth set. The fifth would be close throughout, neither team ever getting more than a two-point edge. With Harvard leading 13-12, Efstathiou slammed home a kill to tie the score. A Crimson attack error of a Mike Komlanc serve gave SHU a 14-13 lead and forced a Harvard timeout. After the break, Efstathiou gave the Pioneers the match when he stuffed a kill attempt by Kuld.
"Kalani stayed aggressive all night," said Machan. "That was a huge one-on-one stuff block to end the match. He helped us make the playoffs tonight and it's a great way for him to finish the season and his career."
Parent had a career night as well with a career-best 23 kills to go along with 14 digs. He also chipped in a couple of service aces and three blocks.
"Roger has been dependable all year long," said Machan. "One thing you can count on every match is Roger bringing it."
The Pioneers will play at #2 Princeton in the first round of the EIVA playoffs next Saturday, April 24.