FAIRFIELD, CONN. (October 27, 2013)—Sarah Krufka (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) led the Pioneers hitting .350, while Dianis Mercado (Vega Baja, P.R.) posted a match-high 15 kills in the Sacred Heart women's volleyball team's 3-0 loss to LIU Brooklyn Sunday afternoon in the William H. Pitt Center. With the loss, SHU drops to 12-11 on the season and 6-3 in Northeast Conference play.
Right from the get-go the Blackbirds had a handle on the opener, taking an early 3-2 lead and never looking back. The Pioneers came within two points on three occasions, but LIU shut them down in the latter part of the set and went on the claim the first set 25-16. In Sacred Heart's best hitting set of the match, rookie Krufka recorded an errorless set hitting .667 with four kills on six attempts, while classmate Jene Lee (San Dimas, Calif.) hit .375 with four kills on eight attempts and just one error.
Sacred Heart fought hard in the second set trying to become the first NEC team to take a set from the defending champs, but their efforts fell short as 14 errors gave LIU the set 25-23. The Blackbirds led for most of the set, but with SHU down 17-13, Katie Direnzo (Shelton, Conn.) started a five-point service run that knotted the score at 17. Back-and-forth action persisted with LIU capitalizing on late Sacred Heart errors. Mercado tallied a set-leading six kills, while Krufka posted her second consecutive .667 errorless hitting performance of the day.
The Pioneers jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in the third set, but the Blackbirds made a quick comeback to reclaim the lead 6-5 on Nicole Okeke's kill. Sacred Heart managed to tie the score again at seven thanks to an Alissa Young (La Verne, Calif.) kill, but LIU snuffed out any comeback SHU had in mind and went on to win the set 25-18. Young and Allison Riggs (Anaheim, Calif.) both recorded errorless sets, hitting .400 and .500 respectively.
Sacred Heart is back in action this Wednesday night when they head to Fairfield University to battle with the crosstown rival Stags.