Fort Wayne, IN - Enzo Mackenzie (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) slammed home a match high 22 kills but the SHU men's volleyball team fell in four sets on the road to IPFW Saturday night. Senior Tim Sadowski (Salem, NH) recorded a double-double by dishing out 46 assists to go along with 11 digs. The two sides played three extended sets before the Masoadons took the fourth in more comfortable fashion to down the Pioneers 28-26, 25-27, 26-24, 25-17. The Pioneers and IPFW split the season series with each team winning 3-1 on their home floor.
Sacred Heart (7-4) got 11 kills in the opening set from Mackenzie, including back-to-back putaways to knot the set at 22-22 and force a Mastodon timeout. Josef Sauer (Okemos, MI) and Roger Parent (Burlington, CT) combined for a block to give SHU a set point at 24-23. A service error evened the score but Bradley Borsay (Richmond, RI) gave the Pioneers another set point opportunity at 25-24. The Mastodons took two consecutive rallies to get a set point of their own before a Parent kill made it all square again. The home team finally ended the marathon first set at 28-26 on the three person block of Eddie Rivera, Rob Samp and Ivan Matos.
IPFW (8-7) surged out of the gates in the second stanza to take an early 4-1 advantage. The Pioneers began slowly chipping away at the deficit and eventually knotted the set at 18-18 on an IPFW service error. Three points later SHU had a 20-19 edge after a block from Sadowski, Borsay and Mike Komlanc (St. Croix, Virgin Islands). Each side would again be forced to fight off a set point but this time SHU would emerge with the extended set victory. Parent came up with a huge solo stuff block to end the frame at 27-25 and even the match 1-1 overall. Sacred Heart delivered its best hitting percentage in the set with 18 kills and only two errors for a .410 percentage.
The third set was similar to the opening two as neither side built more than a three point cushion. Both teams struggled hitting in the set as the Pioneers compiled a .156 percentage to the Mastodons .133 mark. Jason Kinney (Salem, NH) delivered one of his four kills to even the set at 21-21 and force an IPFW timeout. Kinney supplied another kill to put SHU on top 24-22 and give the Pioneers two set points. However, Matos stepped up for the Mastodons with back-to-back kills to even the score line at 24-24. After an IPFW block Matos powered down another one of his 18 kills to give the Mastodons the 26-24 set triumph and 2-1 lead in the match.
Komlanc struck a solid kill to even the fourth set at 8-8 before the Mastodons rallied to take control on their home floor. IPFW claimed the next six points, including four straight on blocks, to grab a commanding 14-8 advantage. The Pioneers would later rattle off three straight of their own to close the gap to 18-15 on one of Borsay's 15 kills of the night. Borsay finished the match with only three errors on 40 attempts, good for a .300 hitting percentage. However, IPFW regained its composure after a timeout and eventually put away Sacred Heart 25-17 in the fourth set to earn the 3-1 victory. The Mastodons finished the set with 7.5 of their 19.5 total blocks.
The loss drops the Pioneers to 2-3 on the road in 2011. Sacred Heart will look to rebound quickly as the men's volleyball team returns to action tomorrow night at Ball State.