Pioneers Earn Two Wins In Final Day Of Hampton Inn Shelton Invitational

Liisel Nelis (Steve McLaughlin)
Liisel Nelis (Steve McLaughlin)

The Sacred Heart University women's volleyball team swept its two Saturday matches to claim second place at the 2017 Hampton Inn by Hilton Shelton SHU Invitational.

SHU defeated Brown in its first match on Saturday, 3-1. The Pioneers rebounded from dropping the first set 25-20, to win 25-21, 30-28, 25-20. In the tournament finale, SHU swept Hartford 25-20, 26-24, 25-19, and improved to 6-7 on the season as a result.

The Pioneers open the defense of their 2016 NEC Regular Season crown on Friday, September 22 when they host Fairleigh Dickinson at 6 p.m. at the Pitt Center.


Tournament Recap

- Lehigh captured the Hampton Inn by Hilton Shelton SHU Invitational with a 3-0 record

- The Mountain Hawks defeated Hartford 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-21) and Brown 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-13) on Saturday to secure the title

- SHU placed second in the tournament at 2-1, followed by Hartford, 1-2, and Brown, 0-3


All-Tournament Team:

- Lehigh's Ana Spangenberg was named the tournament MVP, finishing the three matches with 31 kills, nine digs and seven block assists

- Lauren Bright, 21 kills and 15 total blocks, and Megan Pulak, 81 assists, were also named to the All-Tournament Team

 - SHU freshman Maddie Pope had 41 digs and 10 assists in three matches to earn All-Tournament honors

- Liisel Nelis hit .245 with 38 kills to earn her selection

- Brittany Braun who finished with 21 kills and 11 blocks represented Hartford

- Brown's Joanne Won averaged 2.42 digs per set to earn her selection


SHU vs. Brown Recap

By The Numbers

- The Pioneers hit .154 for the game, with Kiki Robinson leading the way with three kills on five swings and no errors

- Nelis had a team-best 16 kills, while Makayla Dole added 15 and Julia Murawinski finished with 12

- Both Nelis, 14, and Dole, 11, finished with double-doubles with kills and digs

- Pope led the way with 15 digs and added five assists

- Robinson handed out 41 of the team's 50 assists in the match


Set One

- The Pioneers jumped out to an early 7-3 lead in the opening set and after Brown rallied to tie the score 9-9, extended the lead to 13-10

- Brown scored the next six points to build a 16-13 lead, which it would not relinquish on its way to a 25-20 victory

- Sabrina Stillwell and Camberly Noriconi both had three kills in the set

- The Pioneers had 13 errors on 40 swings and committed three serving errors


Set Two

- Brown scored the first four points of the set and built a 12-5 advantage in the second set

- A Brown service error started the Pioneer comeback as Makayla Dole served SHU to three straight points

- The Pioneer run ended up being 11-3 as SHU took a 16-15 on a Nelis service ace

- The teams would be tied 16-16, before SHU closed the set with a 9-5 run

- The Pioneers hit .225 in the set, led by five kills apiece from Nelis and Dole


Set Three

- The Pioneers took their only lead of the third set on a Kiki Robinson service ace, to go in front 29-28 and won the set on the next serve

- Brown opened the set with six straight points, before a Nelis kill and a Julia Murawinski solo block got SHU on the board

- Brown scored next to go in front 7-2, and maintained a lead through 16-10 to equal its largest lead of the match

- The Pioneers scored the next four points and nine of the next 12 to knot the score 19-19

- The two sides tied at every score the rest of the match, 10 times, through 28-28, before the Robinson ace

- Nelis had seven kills and five digs in the set, hitting .353, while Murawinski had six kills and hit .500 to pace the Pioneers

- As a team, SHU hit .326 in the set, with 20 kills and just six errors


Set Four

- Gianna Scioletti, Murawinski and Dole all had four kills in the fourth set as SHU secured the victory with a 25-20 set win

- The Pioneers never trailed in the set, which was tied four times, for the last time at 18-18

- A Brown service error put SHU in front for good and Nelis served the Pioneers to five straight points to build a 24-18 advantage


SHU vs. Hartford Recap

By The Numbers

- The Pioneers hit .247 in the three set match, with 43 kills on 89 attacks

- Nelis again led the way with 16 kills and just missed a double-double, with nine digs

- Dole added 10 kills and seven digs, a dig total equaled by Pope

- The Pioneers had 10 service aces, with Megan Mondon serving up a team-best three in the match

- Robinson had 32 assists, as well as three kills


Set One

- Harford built a 10-5 lead, before SHU came storming back with eight of the next 11 points to knot the score 13-13

- The Pioneer run continued from there, with SHU scoring three straight an finishing the set on a 12-7 run

 -  Nelis hit .600 in the set, with seven kills and three digs

- Pope had a team-high five digs as well as two service aces


Set Two

- The set was tied 5-5 when a Dole kill gave SHU a 6-5 lead and put Dole at the service line

- Dole served the Pioneers to six straight points and a 12-5 Pioneer advantage

- Hartford battled back and tied the set 18-18 and the match remained close through a 24-24 tie that came on a Dole kill

- Nelis followed with a service ace and SHU win the set 26-24 on Dole's fifth kill of the match

- The Pioneers had five service aces in the set, with two apiece from Nelis and Dole, who both had five kills


Set Three

- SHU hit a match-best .310 in the final set, which saw seven ties, the last one at 13-13, which resulted from a Murawinski kill

- Pope served back-to-back points for the Pioneers to start a 6-1 run that was capped by consecutive service aces from Mondon, giving SHU a 19-14 lead

- Hartford scored the next three points to close within 20-16, before a Robinson kill started SHU on three consecutive points of their own for a 23-16 advantage

- Nelis surrounded a Hartford point with two kills to push SHU to the victory, 25-19

- The Pioneers had five players with at least two kills apiece in the set, finishing with 15 as a team

 - The Pioneers had nine digs and 10 assists in the final set