Sacred Heart Stumbles in Conference Loss at NYU
The SHU mens volleyball team had its four game winning streak snapped Friday night as the NYU Violets defeated the visiting Pioneers 3-0 at the Coles Sports Center. Enzo Mackenzie (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) led a SHU offense that compiled a .274 hitting percentage for the match with 18 kills on 28 attempts. The Pioneers committed 18 service errors in the match while the Violets tossed in 12 blocks, which accounted for all but five of the SHU hitting errors.
NYU (8-4, 2-3 EIVA Hay) jumped out to an 11-6 cushion and forced SHU head coach Rob Machan to call a timeout after Patrick Dodd's second service ace. The Pioneers would never get closer than four the rest of the set. SHU made it a 21-17 game as Tim Sadowski (Salem, NH) and Patrick Sibley (Valley Center, CA) combined for a block. Francis Hodgson slammed home the final point of the set at 25-19 on one of his five kills of the night. The Violets held the Pioneers to a .111 hitting percentage in the opening set and forced the visitors into seven attacking errors.
Sacred Heart (5-3, 1-1 EIVA Hay) took the early edge in the middle stanza as Sadowski recorded a second touch kill to make it 10-7, SHU. NYU rattled off three straight points to even the set and eventually took a 17-14 lead on back-to-back blocks. However, the Pioneers rallied and took six of the next eight points, the final coming on a Mackenzie kill, to push ahead 20-19. Taylor Fauntleroy knotted the score at 20-20 with one of his team high 13 kills. The Violets then won the next five rallies on the serve of Nicholas Capprico to take the frame 25-20 and claim a 2-0 overall lead.
The Pioneers used a 4-0 spurt early in the third set to take an 11-8 advantage but NYU regained the momentum and pulled even at 12-12. The Violets got a match point at 24-23 after a SHU serving error. NYU returned the service miscue on the next point, Luke Hamlet then gave the home side another match point opportunity with a kill. Capprico ended the match, and the Pioneers winning streak, with a kill of his own to give NYU the straight set victory.
Bradley Borsay (Richmond, RI), the regining national player of the week, ended the night with six kills and a match high six digs. Sadowski dished out 29 assists in the loss while Mike Komlanc (St. Croix, Virgin Islands), Jon Mercado (Corona, NY), and Sibley all recorded two blocks.
The loss is also the Pioneers first in EIVA Hay play and concludes the season series with NYU at 1-1. However, with the straight set victory the Violets will hold the tiebreaker over Sacred Heart for postseason seeding purposes.
The SHU men's volleyball team returns to action Saturday, March 26 as they remain on the road to take on Harvard in another EIVA Hay division contest.