Pioneers Open Season With Two Close Losses At JMU Classic

Pioneers Open Season With Two Close Losses At JMU Classic


HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Sacred Heart women's volleyball team opened its 2017 season Friday with two close losses at the JMU Classic, hosted by James Madison. The Pioneers opened the day with a five-set loss to the Rider Broncs (21-25, 25-21, 25-9, 21-25, 10-15), followed by a four-set loss to the host Dukes (24-26, 19-25, 25-19, 16-25).


SHU vs. Rider | Box Score

First Set: Rider 25-21

- Trailing 5-4 early, SHU got three straight kills from Kiley Ridgway, Liisel Nelis, and Rianna McNamee along with a Broncs error to take an 8-5 lead.

- Rider responded with two blocks in a 5-2 run to tie the set at 10-10.

- With the set tied at 16-16, Rider got a block and a kill from Perry Williams in a three-point stretch to give the Broncs a 19-16 lead.

- The Pioneers only got as close as two points the rest of the set, as the two teams traded points the remainder of the set to give Rider a 25-21 win.

Second Set: SHU 25-21

- SHU opened the second set on a 5-2 run, getting kills from Nelis, McNamee, and Julia Murawinski as well as an ace by Cassandra Lew.

- Rider responded with a 5-1 run to take a 7-6 lead before a Ridgway kill tied the set 7-7.

- The Pioneers fell behind 14-12 but went on a 7-1 run to take a 19-15 lead. Lew had two aces in the run as SHU also got kills from Ridgway and Makayla Dole.

-  Rider got within two at 22-20 on a kill by Jennifer Borio. SHU then won three of the last four points to win the set 25-21 and even the match.

Third Set: SHU 25-9

- The Pioneers won the first seven points of the set, with McNamee and Murawinski each putting down two kills.

- SHU used an 8-1 run to take a 17-4 lead. Dole accounted for four of those points on her own with three aces and a kill.

- SHU held Rider to a -.111 hitting percentage and had three blocks. The Pioneers hit .276 in the set with 11 kills and just three errors. Murawinski had four kills and hit .444 in the third.

Fourth Set: Rider 25-21

- Rider jumped out to a 6-2 lead to start the fourth. A Williams kill sparked a five-point run that put the Broncs up by four.

- The Pioneers rattled off four straight points to tie the set at 11-11, getting kills from Nelis and Dole and a solo block by McNamee.

- After the Broncs took a 19-16 lead, SHU rallied to tied the set 21-21. A block by Dole and McNamee evened the set. However, Rider won the next four points to win the set 25-21 and force a fifth set. 

Fifth Set: Rider 15-10

- Sacred Heart took a fast 3-1 lead on kills by Nelis and Dole and a Sydney Slevin service ace.

- Rider then went on a 10-2 run to take an 11-5 lead, prompting a Pioneers timeout.

- SHU cut the deficit to four at 12-8 on a block by McNamee and Murawinski.

- With the score 14-8, the Pioneers saved two match points on two McNamee kills to get back within four at 14-10. Borio then put down a kill to give Rider the set 15-10 and the match 3-2.


SHU hit .201 for the match with Rider hitting .200. The Pioneers also held a 59-52 edge in digs while the Broncs had 11 blocks to SHU's six. Nelis led all players with 17 kills, adding 12 digs for a double-double. Dole also had a double-double with 14 kills and 10 digs while adding four aces. Kiki Robinson dished out 49 assists and 10 digs. Freshman libero Madi Pope had 16 digs in her collegiate debut.


SHU vs. James Madison

Set 1: James Madison 26-24

- The two sides traded points early in the set, playing to an 8-8 tie. James Madison was the first team to pull away, using a 5-1 run to take a 13-9 lead.

- The Dukes led 20-15 when a Ridgway kill sparked a 6-0 SHU run that gave the Pioneers a 21-20 lead. Kills by Dole and Ridgway capped the run.

- SHU led 23-22 when James Madison got a kill from Briley Brind'Amour and an ace from Sarah Martin to take a 24-23 lead. SHU fought off set point on a Dukes error, but a kill by Brind'Amour and an error gave James Madison the set 26-24. 

Set 2: James Madison 25-19

- James Madison jumped out to a 6-2 lead on kills by Taylor Gail, M'Kaela White, and Kelly Vahos.

- Trailing 9-3, SHU took seven of the next eight points to get within one at 11-10. Nelis had two kills in the run as Pope added an ace. The Pioneers tied the set at 12-12 on a Dukes error.

- SHU got within one at 19-18 on Nelis' fourth kill of the set, but JMU won six of the last seven points to take the set 25-19.

Set 3: SHU 25-19 

- The Dukes opened the set on a 9-3 run capped by a pair of Bryn Recker aces.

- Trailing 10-4, SHU went on an 8-2 run sparked by a Nelis kill to tie the set at 12-12. Nelis had two kills in the run as Dole and McNamee each added one as well. James Madison won the next two points to take a 14-12 lead.

- The Pioneers responded with a 5-0 run to take a 17-14 lead. Dole had two kills in the run, the second of which prompted a James Madison timeout.

- SHU expanded its lead to five at 20-15 on a solo block by Ridgway. The Pioneers won the set 25-19 after back-to-back kills by Nelis and Dole.

Set 4: James Madison 25-16

- The Dukes opened the set on a 7-2 run, getting two kills from Recker and blocking two SHU attacks.

- The Pioneers closed to within three at 8-5 after three kills by Dole.

- With the score 11-8, James Madison rattled off seven straight points to take an 18-8 lead.

- SHU trailed 24-11 and fought off five match points before a block by Martin and White gave the Dukes the set 25-16 and the match 3-1.


James Madison outhit SHU .270-.159 for the match and had 13 blocks to the Pioneers' three. Dole led all players with 17 kills, adding eight digs. Nelis had another double-double with 12 kills and a team-high 12 digs. McNamee added 10 kills and hit .250.


SHU wraps up its first weekend of the season on Saturday with an 11:30 a.m. match against Gardner-Webb.