Ashlyn Trimble (Temecula, CA) and Dianis Mercado (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) each recorded a match high 14 kills as the SHU volleyball team opened the Madison Bingaman Memorial Tournament in Baltimore, MD with a dramatic 3-2 victory over co-host Towson. Courtney Kidd-Kadlubek (Santa Barbara, CA) notched 43 assists as the Pioneers hit .205 for the afternoon. Jessica Colberg (Long Beach, CA) also had a terrific match as the libero posted 21 digs to anchor the SHU defense.
Sacred Heart (4-3) used two four point runs early in the first set to jump out to a quick 8-2 advantage. The lead grew to 14-5 after a Mercado kill and a Tiger ball handling error. The home team would rally back and after winning four consecutive points to close the gap to 18-15 SHU head coach Rob Machan was forced to call a timeout. The Pioneers responded and went on to win the set comfortably 25-18 with four straight points of their own, closing the game on kills from Mercado and Maile Hetherington (Thousand Oaks, CA) coupled with a Mercado ace and a Tiger attacking error.
Towson (10-1) built an early 8-4 lead in the second set after taking five straight points off the serve of Stacey Niehoff. The Pioneers mounted a comeback of their own with consecutive kills from Mercado, Trimble, and Elise Sage (Greenwood Village, CO) to make it 18-15 in the second set. The Tigers proved to be too much in the end as a Shelynne Hoyt kill along with a SHU attack error ended the set 25-22 and evened the match 1-1.
The Pioneers dominated the second set with 12 kills and did not make an error en route to hitting .545. Sage and Johanna Ovsenek (London, Ontario) each posted three kills in the 25-15 third set victory. The middle frame ended on a Sage kill after a Trimble service ace gave the Pioneers a set point. Towson sent the match to a fifth and deciding set with a 25-20 win in the fourth. The Tigers were paced by Katy Buck's six kills in the frame along with a pair of blocks from Susan Gansor.
The two teams battled neck and neck throughout the fifth set and
each had chances to win the match. The Pioneers saved three
match points as Ovsenek, Trimble, and Mercado all came up with huge
kills in the clutch. Christina Bauch (Trabuco Canyon, CA)
tossed in one of her seven kills to give SHU a match point. A
Tiger attack error on the next play would give the Pioneers the
win, snapping Towson's 10 game winning streak and giving Sacred
Heart its fourth straight victory.
The Pioneers return to action later today at 4:00 pm as they take on Howard in SHU's second match of the Madison Bingaman Memorial Tournament