Brooklyn, NY – The SHU women's volleyball team forced a fifth set Sunday afternoon at Long Island but eventually finished on the wrong side of a 3-2 decision on the road. Kimmee Roleder (Pasadena, CA) and Dianis Mercado (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) both posted double-doubles in the loss. Elise Sage (Greenwood Village, CO) had her second straight solid match, ripping 11 kills with a .500 hitting percentage. Alisa Mesa (Long Beach, CA) established a new career high by supplying 55 total assists.
Long Island (14-11, 8-1 NEC) led wire-to-wire in the first set. The Pioneers closed to within one at 13-12 following a kill from Roleder. However, the Blackbirds finished with 17 kills in the set compared to just 12 for SHU. Hannah Gibeau finished the day with a match high 21 kills, accounting for one-third of her team's total kills. A Pioneer timeout could not stop the LIU momentum as the home team claimed the first frame, 25-21.
Sacred Heart (18-7, 8-2 NEC) found itself in a 16-10 hole in the second set before using a 6-1 spurt to knot the score line at 17-17. The surge started with a Sage kill and ended on a Christina Bauch (Trabuco Canyon, CA). The Pioneers forced the Blackbirds into ten hitting errors in the set and held the home side to a .026 hitting percentage. SHU pulled away late and took the second set 25-22 with the final point coming on another Sage kill.
Both offenses struggled in the third set but the Pioneers held a 20-15 advantage and look to move ahead 2-1. However, this time it was Long Island who engineered a 6-1 surge to even the frame at 21-21. The Pioneers had the first set point following a Roleder kill but Gibeau answered for LIU to make it 24-24. SHU committed an attack error on the next point and Gibeau finished another point to end the set, 26-24, in favor of the Blackbirds.
The Pioneers left little doubt in the fourth set, smashing 17 kills on .433 swinging. Johanna Ovsenek (London, Ontario), who finished with 10 kills, put an attack to the floor to start the decisive run midway through the frame. The set ended, 25-17, on another of the Pioneers nine service aces.
Alissa Young (La Verne, CA) issued one of her 12 kills of the match to start the fifth set. However, the momentum would turn in favor of the home team as Long Island built a 10-4 advantage and forced SHU to burn both of its timeouts in the process. The Blackbirds sealed the 3-2 victory over SHU with a service ace to end the fifth set 15-6.
The Pioneers return to action next Sunday as they travel to New Jersey to take on Fairleigh Dickinson.