FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Sacred Heart women's volleyball team bounced back and rounded out its regular season home-stand putting visiting Saint Francis U away in three sets, Saturday evening at the Pitt Center. The Pioneers (5-5 NEC) have now won four of its last five with its three most recent victories doubling as sweeps. The Red Flash (6-5 NEC) picked up their second loss in three matches.
Makayla Dole and Liisel Nelis finished at the front of the pack landing 14 and 13 respective kills to lead on the evening. Both tallies were accompanied with double-digit digs and a block assist. Kiki Robinson provided the most help of anyone on the court registering 32 assists. Gianna Scioletti earned six rejections at the net and downed four kills against SFU. Julia Murawinski's seven kills also contributed.
Jenna Veres' 16 digs told much of SFU's defense while Cecilia Esposito, Kelsey Roush, Sophia Esposito each added a pair of blocks. Emily Marcinowski was one dig shy of getting into double-figures. Roush also recorded 10 kills while Marcinowski managed to credit five.
Sacred Heart – 11-12, 5-5 NEC
Saint Francis U – 12-12, 6-5 NEC
First Set: SHU 25-20
- Saint Francis U lost all but one of the opening set's first nine points, earning its second on a kill from Marcinowski, 8-2.
- The Red Flash held their serve earning three uninterrupted points until a Dole kill ended the streaking visitors, 9-4.
- SHU went ahead by at least five points four times evidenced by a 16-11 score, a 23-17 line, a 24-18 advantage and the set final.
- Two costly errors committed by the foe would award the Pioneers the first set victory despite the Red Flash keeping the Pioneers at set point, twice.
Second Set: SHU 25-19
- The Pioneers performed their best at the net earning a .486 hitting clip, led by Nelis' seven kills.
- Despite getting down early, Saint Francis U managed to keep within striking distance staying in a three-point range, 11-8.
- However, the hosts would corral a 10-5 run opening up an eight-point lead, for the third time.
- A kill from Scioletti provided by Robinson brought the match to set point, 25-24.
- The Red Flash postponed the hosts' 2-0 lead holding SHU at set point four times before a successful attack from Dole dealt SFU the set loss.
Third Set: 25-14
- Tabbed the Pioneers' largest set margin of victory all evening.
- SHU held the Red Flash to negative hitting, -.057.
- Both squads traded points to start but SHU would cease the back-and-forth affair, 4-2.
- SHU remained the dominant team eventually going up by double-figures on the second of a string of miscues committed by the visitors, 19-9.
- SFU would fill its gap to single digits on the ensuing sequence but Sacred Heart continued to pounce settling the set victory with an 11-point lead.
Before the start of the match, Sacred Heart took the time out to honor two members of its senior class, Lila Palmer and Robinson, as the Pioneers wrapped up their regular season home-stand going 7-4. SHU has four more matches remaining on its schedule, all brewing with postseason projection.
Of the Pioneers' next four clashes, three of their opponents sit atop the NEC standings including next Friday's rival, Central Connecticut State. The November 3 matchup begins at 7:00 pm.