New Britain, CT – Jessica Colberg (Long Beach, CA), the Pioneers senior libero, posted a career high 31 digs as the SHU volleyball team defeated the CCSU Blue Devils, 3-1, Sunday afternoon. Kimmee Roleder (Pasadena, CA) secured a second straight double-double, her tenth of the season, with 17 kills and 14 digs. The Pioneer attack was balanced and potent all afternoon as Dianis Mercado (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico), Johanna Ovsenek (London, Ontario), and Elise Sage (Greenwood Village, CO) all registered double digit kills.
Sacred Heart (13-5, 4-0 NEC) blasted 20 kills en route to a .500 hitting percentage in the first set. Roleder put away nine kills in the opening frame as SHU cruised to a 25-16 victory. Alisa Mesa (Long Beach, CA) dished out 28 assists in the match while Megan Pulone (Diamond Bar, CA) had 21 assists on the afternoon.
Central Connecticut (10-7, 2-2 NEC) recovered from an early deficit as Mercado scorched back-to-back service aces to start the second set. The Blue Devils twice rattled off three straight points to take a 15-10 edge. Emily Cochran paced the CCSU attack with 17 kills for the match and rounded out her stat line with 12 digs for a double-double. The Pioneers closed to wthin one point late at 23-22 on the strength of an Ovsenek kill. However, a SHU service error followed by an attack error handed Central Connecticut the second set, 25-22.
The Pioneers answered back at the start of the third set by claiming the first three points. Kelsey Freeman (Denver, CO) and Ovsenek combined for one of the Pioneers eight blocks of the match. Ovsenek led the squad with five block assists on the day. SHU broke the game open by winning five of six points to stretch its cushion to 18-10. Freeman and Sage provided another block to end the set 25-17.
The Pioneers used another huge mid-set surge to take a commanding 18-10 advantage while also forcing CCSU to burn both of its timeouts. Sacred Heart would not be denied its 23rd consecutive win against NEC opposition as Mesa ripped back-to-back service aces to end the set, 25-14, and the match, 3-1.
Sacred Heart returns to action Wednesday night as they travel to West Point, NY to take on the Army Black Knights in a non-conference tilt.