Freshman Enzo Mackenzie (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) blasted 20 kills and had a .444 hitting percentage but the SHU men's volleyball team fell to Juniata, 3-0, Saturday night inside the William H. Pitt Center. Senior Craig Harvey (Beverly, MA) recorded a match high 10 kills to anchor the Pioneer defense. Tim Sadowski (Salem, NH) supplied 36 assists in a loss that was decided at the service line. The Eagles dropped in 10 service aces while SHU had just three and committed 17 service errors, including several at key points in the match.
Sacred Heart (7-7, 3-2 EIVA Hay) maintained a lead throughout the first game and had three set points at 24-21 following a kill from Bradley Borsay (Richmond, RI). However, two SHU attacking errors and a service ace from the Eagles' Will Powers knotted the score at 24-24. Mike Kraft notched the kill on the next point to make it 25-24 in favor of the visitors and force Pioneer head coach Rob Machan to call a timeout. The Pioneers claimed the next two rallies to set up a fourth set point at 26-25 but fell victim to another serving miscue. Sacred Heart had three more chances to end the set but each time the Eagles fought back until earning a set point of their own at 30-29 on a Chris Vrooman ace. A SHU mishit during the next point gave the first set to the Eagles, 31-29, as the Pioneers posted a .114 hitting percentage in the frame. Mackenzie tallied nine of Sacred Heart's 12 kills of the set.
The Pioneers rebounded offensively in the second set, recording a .286 hitting mark as Mackenzie again led the way, adding eight kills without making an error. Juniata (13-9, 6-0 EIVA Hay) also found its stride in the middle game, hitting at a .303 clip and using two 3-0 spurts late in the second set to eventually earn a 25-22 triumph. The second set ended in a similar fashion to the first, a Pioneer serving error resulted in the Eagles final point. Sadowski recorded 14 assists in the set while Roger Parent (Burlington, CT) chipped in three kills.
Juniata dominated the action in the start of the third set, jumping out to a 7-2 cushion. Parent provided one of his nine total kills to pull the Pioneers back within three at 12-9. The Eagles responded to the challenge and claimed the next three points to extend the lead to 15-9 and force a SHU timeout. Sacred Heart would never get closer than four as Juniata notched nine kills and zero errors in the final set. The match ended on the final service error of the night at 25-20 to extend the Pioneers losing streak to four games.
The loss is just the second for the Pioneers at home and the first since January 29. The SHU men's volleyball team returns to action on the road this Tuesday for a 7:00 pm meeting with Springfield College.