Fairfield, CT – The Sacred Heart men's volleyball team defeated NYU 3-2 Saturday afternoon in a match that featured three extended sets. Bradley Borsay (Richmond, RI) paced the SHU attack with 16 kills and a team high .433 hitting percentage. Tim Sadowski (Salem, NH) dished out 54 assists while Craig Harvey (Beverly, MA) led the Pioneers with 11 digs. Enzo Mackenzie (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) recorded a match high 20 kills as SHU posted a .261 swinging mark for the match.
Sacred Heart (3-2, 1-0 EIVA Hay) overcame an early 7-3 Violets advantage to tie the opening set at 14-14 on one of Mike Komlanc's (St. Croix, Virgin Islands) eight kills of the afternoon. But three straight SHU errors later in the frame would allow the visitors to take a 19-15 lead and force Pioneer head coach Rob Machan to call a timeout. The Violets were efficient on the attack in the first set, posting a .471 hitting percentage en route to winning the frame 25-18.
NYU (5-3, 0-2 EIVA Hay) opened the second set two of their 20 total blocks. The Pioneers would find a rhythm and rattled off nine of the next 11 points. Borsay and Komlanc dropped in back-to-back kills as SHU grabbed a 9-4 cushion. Later in the set Borsay served five straight points for the Pioneers, including two service aces. Mackenzie and Borsay each had four kills as SHU posted a .364 hitting mark in the frame. Patrick Sibley (Valley Center, CA) and Borsay combined for a huge block that ended the set 25-13 in favor of Sacred Heart. Sibley finished the day with seven kills and a .429 hitting percentage.
The two sides battled neck and neck throughout the middle stanza but NYU took a late two point lead at 23-21 on a Nicholas Capprico kill. After a SHU timeout the Pioneers stormed off the bench for three straight points, the final coming on a thunderous kill from Mackenzie to make it 24-23. The Violets fended off the set point as Capprico and Connor Mortland shut down the net and blocked Mackenzie to even the score at 24-24. The Pioneers would then save two set points before NYU took the frame 27-25 on another block, this time from Mortland and Francis Hodgson. Each team hit over .300 in the set while Mackenzie and Capprico each added five kills for their respective side.
The fourth set was just as tight and featured 10 ties and four lead changes. The Pioneers took an early 5-1 advantage on a NYU miscue but the stanza would end up deadlocked at 23-23. Mackenzie and Borsay each supplied kills that gave Sacred Heart a set point but both times the Violets came away with the next rally. Sacred Heart put away the frame 27-25 as Komlanc and Sadowski stuffed Hodgson at the tape to force a fifth and deciding set. Roger Parent (Burlington, CT) dominated the frame for the Pioneers with six kills and a pair of service aces. Parent finished the match with 11 kills and three digs.
Sacred Heart earned its first match point in the fifth set at 14-13 as Borsay powered down a kill with an assist from Mackenzie. Taylor Fauntleroy evened the frame at 14-14 with one of his 15 kills of the afternoon. NYU had its own match point after another block but Parent came up huge for the home side with a kill to knot the set at 15-15. SHU then won a pair of lengthy rallies as Komlanc eventually hammered home the game winner at 17-15. Harvey was huge for the Pioneer defense in the final set, tallying six digs along the backline.
The Pioneers, now 1-0 in league action, will play a pair of non-conference home games before returning to EIVA Hay action in two weeks. SHU takes on Springfield Tuesday night at 7:00 pm in the William H. Pitt Center.