Sacred Heart opened the day two action of the tournament with a 3-1 (25-16, 17-25, 28-26, 25-20) victory over the Jacksonville Dolphins. For the match Tournament Co-MVP Elise Sage (Greenwood Village, CO) posted nine kills and hit a team high .368 for the Pioneers. Johanna Ovsenek (London, Ontario) also tallied nine kills and four blocks in SHU's win over the Dolphins. Ashlyn Trimble (Temecula, CA) recorded a double-double in the match with 10 kills and 15 digs. Courtney Kidd-Kadlubek (Santa Barbara, CA) also made her way onto the all-tournament team as she notched a tournament high 113 assists over the weekend.
Sacred Heart (3-3) opened an early lead in the first game with three consecutive service aces from Trimble starting at 6-6. The Pioneers then rallied for six straight points on the serve of Christina Bauch (Trabuco Canyon, CA) to take a 16-10 lead. Another four consecutive points, including two Jacksonville errors, widened the gap to 20-11. Ovsenek and Trimble buried back-to-back kills to put away the Dolphins 25-16 and push ahead 1-0.
Jacksonville (2-5) opened the second game on fire, winning the first four points and building a 7-3 cushion. The Pioneers would never be able to recover in the set as the Dolphins posted a .278 hitting percentage to SHU's 0.75. Alyssa Robertson anchored the JU attack with 10 kills and a .421 hitting mark for the match. The second set ended 25-17 in Jacksonville's favor on the strength of a Robertson kill to tie the match at 1-1.
Both teams struggled with consistency in the third game as no one built a lead larger than three points and each side hitting under .100. The Pioneers saved two game points, one on a service error and the other on a Sage kill at 24-25 to keep her team alive. The Dolphins would eventually give in to the late pressure at back-to-back attacking errors gave SHU the 28-26 triumph and a critical lead going into the fourth.
The Dolphins got off to a fast start again in the next game as they cruised to a 9-2 advantage that included two kills from Kathryn Kane and Aidan Yeager as well as a rotation error by the Pioneers. Sacred Heart cut into the margin gradually with three separate four point winning streaks and eventually tied the game at 14-14. The SHU streak continued to 18-14 after a pair of kills from the swing of Trimble. Sacred Heart clinched the win in the fourth at 25-20 as Maile Hetherington (Thousand Oaks, CA) dropped in her eighth kill of the match.
The Pioneers came roaring off the bench in the fourth match of the day as they dominated Binghamton 3-0 (25-18, 25-11, 25-21). SHU freshman Dianis Mercado (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) was also named to the all-tournament team and led the Pioneers in the match with 15 kills and 13 digs. The Bearcats knotted the opening set 6-6 on a SHU attack error but would not win consecutive points again until the score line expanded to 20-11, Pioneers. BU fended off four match points but on the fifth Trimble provided the 25-18 victory on one of her six kills of the match.
Binghamton (1-5) was unable to stop the red hot Sacred Heart offense as the Pioneers hit .343 in the second set. Sage chipped in 11 kills against the Bearcats and hit a match high .348. Jessica Colberg (Long Beach, CA) supplied a match high 16 digs to anchor the Pioneer defense. SHU would not lose back-to-back points the entire set as they won the second set 25-11.
The final set remained tight throughout the beginning and middle
stages, leading to the two sides being deadlocked at 19-19.
Sage dropped in a service ace and an attacking error from
Michelle McDonough forced the Bearcats to call timeout.
Binghamton would win the next point but Sacred Heart won the
next three points and took a 24-20 lead on a Kidd-Kadlubek ace.
Mercado slammed home the final point to polish off the
Bearcats in the third at 25-21 and give the Pioneers a sweep.
Both Sacred Heart and Dartmouth finished the tournament at 3-0 and were named co-champions. The women's volleyball team returns to action next weekend for a tournament hosted by UMBC in Baltimore, MD.
Elise Sage - Sacred Heart (Co-MVP)
Kendall Houston - Dartmouth (Co-MVP)
Dianis Mercado - Sacred Heart
Madeline Baird - Dartmouth
Taylor Poole - Lehigh
Courtney Kidd-Kadlubek - Sacred Heart
Amber Bryant - Dartmouth (Libero)