SHU Women's Volleyball Falls to UC Santa Barbara and Texas Tech on Final Day of Thunderdome Classic

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

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Sacred Heart women's volleyball team suffered defeat in its two matches Saturday at the Thunderdome Classic, falling to host UC Santa Barbara in four sets before a three-set loss to Texas Tech.

UC Santa Barbara 3, SHU 1 (13-25, 13-25, 25-23, 18-25) Box Score

SHU opened the day with a four-set loss to host UC Santa Barbara. After back-to-back 25-13 losses in the first two sets, the Pioneers bounced back to hit .400 in the third set to take it 25-23 and cut the deficit to 2-1.

SHU opened the third on an 9-5 run, highlighted by three kills and a service ace by Liisel Nelis. The Pioneers took their largest lead of the set at 16-12 on a kill by Kathryn Green. After UC Santa Barbara cut the SHU lead to 23-22, Nelis recorded back-to-back kills to secure the set win.

The Pioneers' tried to maintain momentum in the fourth set but came up just short. SHU pushed its lead to 9-5 after a service error by the Gauchos. UC Santa Barbara fought to a 20-15 lead before SHU battled to a 21-18 deficit. However, it wasn't enough as the Pioneers fell 25-18 in the final set.

Nelis led all SHU players with 16 kills, hitting .186 and adding 14 digs. Green added a career-high 10 kills in the loss.

Texas Tech 3, SHU 0 (19-25, 16-25, 19-25) Box Score

The Pioneers showed little exhaustion from game one to game two as they went back-and-forth to a 10-10 tie with Texas Tech early in the first set. However, Texas Tech went on a 10-1 run to distance themselves from the Pioneers. SHU slowly crept back into it, getting as close as 24-19 before Texas Tech secured the first set win.

SHU did not recover in the second set, falling 16-25. Nelis led the way with five kills in the set for the Pioneers.

The Pioneers were neck-and-neck with the Red Raiders in the third set to the 15-15 mark. However, Texas Tech responded with a 7-0 run to separate and take a 22-15 lead. The Pioneers attempted to fight back at Texas Tech match point, but it was not enough as the Pios fell 25-19.

Nelis led both squads with 17 kills and added eight digs in the loss.

SHU will be back in action when the Pioneers take on NJIT in its home opener in day one of the Hampton Inn by Shelton Invitational on Friday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m.