Loretto, PA – One day removed from being eliminated from the 2011 EIVA tournament the SHU men's volleyball team defeated Tait division qualifier Saint Francis (PA), 3-2, on the road Saturday night. Enzo Mackenzie (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) posted a match high 23 kills while senior Tim Sadowski (Salem, NH) dished out 56 assists. Craig Harvey (Beverly, MA) notched a match high eight digs to anchor the SHU defense. The triumph is the Pioneers second five set victory this season as SHU has now won five of its last six matches.
Saint Francis (PA) (10-14) came out firing on cylinders in the first set, notching a .417 hitting percentage. The Pioneers were also efficient early and totaled 17 kills and a .367 swinging mark in the opening frame. SHU led by as many as three at 18-15 following back-to-back miscues from the Red Flash. Both sides would fight off a pair of set points in the extended set but a service ace from SFU's Logan Patterson gave the home side the 30-28 first set victory.
Sacred Heart (12-9) responded to the opening set defeat by grabbing a 7-4 advantage in the second on a Bradley Borsay (Richmond, RI) kill and forcing Saint Francis (PA) to call a timeout. Borsay finished the night with 15 kills while freshman classmate Patrick Sibley (Valley Center, CA) posted 10 kills. Two straight SHU errors brought the Red Flash back to even, 21-21. The Pioneers fought off a set point on a Mike Komlanc (St. Croix, Virgin Islands) kill and squared the second set at 24-24. The Red Flash battled back from two set points before making two consecutive errors that gave the frame to Sacred Heart, 28-26, and evened the match at 1-1.
Both of the next two sets were claimed in more convincing fashion to send the match to a fifth and deciding set. Sacred Heart took the third 25-19 as Borsay paced all hitters with six kills in the frame. The Red Flash answered with their best set of the contest, hitting an impressive .474 while holding SHU to a .083 mark. Saint Francis (PA) won the fourth set 25-16 behind six blocks at the net; SFU finished the match with a total of 21.5 blocks.
The Red Flash took command of the fifth set early and charged out to a 6-2 edge. The Pioneers began chipping away at the lead and evened the deciding frame at 12-12 as Mackenzie and Komlanc combined for a huge block. A Mackenzie kill at 13-13 gave Sacred Heart a match point but Saint Francis (PA) earned the next rally to make it 14-14 and force the third extended set of the night. Mackenzie delivered another kill to claim the next point and give SHU another opportunity to win the match. Sacred Heart forced Saint Francis (PA) into a hitting error that ended the fifth set 16-14 and propelled the Pioneers to the dramatic 3-2 victory.
Sacred Heart has one more contest remaining in the 2011 season as they travel to Princeton next Saturday, April 16 for a 2:00 pm clash.