Huntingdon, PA – In the final EIVA Hay division contest of the year the Pioneer men's volleyball team suffered a 3-0 loss at the hands of first-place Juniata. The defeat coupled with NYU's 3-2 win over Harvard eliminated Sacred Heart from the 2011 EIVA tournament field. The Pioneers tried to rally from a 2-0 deficit but couldn't capitalize on a pair of set points in the third as the Golden Eagles eventually sealed the victory, 30-28.
Juniata (18-11, 8-0 EIVA Hay) exploded out of the gates in front of a crowd of 675 by taking the first four points and building a 10-3 cushion. The Pioneers cut the gap to five on several occasions but would not be able to draw any closer as the Golden claimed the opening set, 25-17. SHU managed only nine kills in the frame while Juniata's Chris Vrooman tallied five kills on five attempts.
Sacred Heart (11-9, 5-3 EIVA Hay) cut an early Golden Eagle lead to 9-8 in the second on one of Bradley Borsay's (Richmond, RI) seven kills of the set. Borsay finished the match with 12 kills, one of two Pioneers to reach double digits. Enzo Mackenzie (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) paced SHU with 13 kills and added five digs along the back line. The Golden Eagles won back-to-back points to end the set, 25-22, the final coming on a service ace to go up 2-0 overall.
With the playoffs on the line the Pioneers built a 19-16 edge in the third set on a Mackenzie kill. However, the home side rattled off three straight points to knot it at 19-19 and force a SHU timeout. Sacred Heart would answer late in the frame with three consecutive points of their own to earn the first set point at 24-23. Each side would squander two set points in the extended set on service errors. However, with the match on the line at 28-28 Juniata's Ross Madden delivered a pair of service aces to end the set, 30-28, and Sacred Heart's run at the 2011 EIVA tournament.
The Pioneers will stay on the road to take on Saint Francis (PA) tomorrow night at 6:00 pm in Loretto, PA.