West Point, NY – Freshman Alisa Mesa (Long Beach, CA) notched career highs of 38 assists and 11 digs as the SHU volleyball team defeated Army, 3-0, on the road Wednesday night. Kimmee Roleder (Pasadena, CA) continued her dominant 2011 with 17 kills and 20 digs for her third straight double-double and 11th of the season. Johanna Ovsenek (London, Ontario) also reached double digits, recording ten kills along with a .348 hitting percentage.
Sacred Heart (14-5) rattled off five straight points on the serve of Alissa Young (La Verne, CA) early in the first set to grab a 7-1 cushion. Young was the Pioneers' most efficient attacker of the day, notching eight kills along with a .353 hitting percentage. The Black Knights would rally late in the set with an 11-5 spurt to move to within one at 22-21 and force SHU head coach Rob Machan to call timeout. Roleder secured kills on three of the next four points to give Sacred Heart the set, 25-22.
Army (12-6) earned its first lead of the night at 5-3 on the strength of a Pioneer attack error followed by a kill from Fabiola Castro. Sacred Heart got hot in the middle of the set and used a 10-4 surge to take a comfortable 21-14 advantage. The rally concluded on one of Dianis Mercado's (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) nine kills of the match. Army made another late comeback and forced another SHU timeout as the Black Knights got to within two at 23-21. Sacred Heart again responded out of the intermission as Young and Roleder blasted back-to-back kills to end the frame, 25-21.
The Pioneers got off to a quick start in the third set, claiming the first three points. But the rest of the frame remained tight the entire way as neither team earned a margin larger than two points. An Army attack error late gave SHU a pair of match points at 24-22. Sacred Heart capitalized on the second opportunity as Roleder struck for her third set ending kill of the night to put away the game, 25-23, and the match, 3-0.
Jessica Colberg (Long Beach, CA) added ten digs for the SHU defense while Mercado tallied 14 digs. Elise Sage (Greenwood Village, CO) put four kills to the floor without making an error, good for a .308 hitting percentage.
The Pioneers have now won five of their last six matches as they continue Northeast Conference play this weekend. Sacred Heart travels to St. Francis (NY) on Saturday before hosting rival Quinnipiac Sunday afternoon.