HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Sacred Heart women's volleyball team earned its first win of 2017 with a five-set win (26-24, 25-20, 24-26, 17-25, 16-14) over the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs at the JMU Classic.
First Set: SHU 26-24
- Gardner-Webb jumped out to a 10-5 lead to open the set, using consecutive kills by Amanda Sahm and Elizabeth Griffith along with a block by Keira Moore and Joy Rhodes to take the five-point lead.
- SHU responded with four straight points, three of which came from Liisel Nelis, to get back within one at 10-9. After three straight Runnin' Bulldogs points, the Pioneers strung together four in a row as a Rianna McNamee kill tied the set at 13-13.
- SHU earned set point at 24-18 on another Ridgway kill. Gardner-Webb fought off all six set points to tie it 24-24. Nelis won the set for the Pioneers 26-24 with back-to-back kills.
Second Set: SHU 25-20
- Gardner-Webb opened the set on a 4-0 run, with the Pioneers responding by taking the next three points.
- SHU took its first lead in the set at 9-8 on a block by McNamee and Kiki Robinson.
- With the set tied 13-13, SHU went on a 6-0 run powered by three straight Ridgway kills to take a 19-13 lead.
- The Runnin' Bulldogs would get as close as three points at 21-18 and 23-20, but the Pioneers took advantage of back-to-back Gardner-Webb miscues to take the set 25-20 and go up 2-0 in the match.
Third Set: Gardner-Webb 26-24
- SHU opened the set by taking a 5-1 lead, only to see Gardner-Webb win four straight point to tie the set 5-5.
- The Pioneers took a 7-6 lead on a Ridgway kill but errors on five of the next six points gave the Runnin' Bulldogs a 12-7 lead.
- Trailing 16-10, SHU went on an 11-1 run highlighted by two blocks that gave the Pioneers a 21-17 lead.
- Ridgway gave SHU set point with a kill to make the score 24-19. Gardner-Webb won the next four points on three straight Kaelyn Dyson kills and a Nicole Celarek ace, prompting a SHU timeout at 24-23. The Runnin' Bulldogs then won the next three points to take the set 26-24.
Fourth Set: Gardner-Webb 25-17
- The two sides traded points early and often to start the set, playing to an 11-11 tie.
- SHU took a 12-11 led on a Gardner-Webb error, only to see the Runnin' Bulldogs take the next five points to go ahead 16-12.
- Ridgway got SHU back within three at 17-14, but that would be as close as the Pioneers would get.
Fifth Set: SHU 16-14
- SHU took an early 4-3 lead in the set on kills by Murawinski, Dole, and Ridgway.
- Gardner-Webb took a 5-4 lead on a Dyson kill and a SHU error. The Pioneers then rattled off three straight points, capped off by a block by Ridgway and Lauren Middlemass, to take a 7-5 lead.
- The Runnin' Bulldogs then went on a 5-1 run to go up 10-8. Gardner-Webb got a block from Dyson and Elizabeth Griffith to force match point at 14-12. SHU tied the set at 14-14 on kills by Ridgway and Nelis. Ridgway then gave SHU match point with a kill to make the score 15-14 Pioneers. SHU then won the set 16-14 and the match 3-2.
Dole led the Pioneers with 19 kills. Nelis added 17 kills and 13 digs. Robinson also had a double-double with 46 assists and 19 digs. Freshman libero Madi Pope had a match-high 30 digs. Ridgway had 13 kills and hit .455.
The Pioneers are back in action next weekend at the Harvard Invitational. SHU will take on American on Friday, Sept. 1 at 4 p.m., with matches against the host Crimson and Stony Brook next Saturday.