Misenheimer, NC – The SHU men's volleyball team battled to the wire in every set but the Pfeiffer Falcons claimed the decisive points to knock off the Pioneers, 3-0, Thursday afternoon. Freshman John Lutjen (Smithtown, NY) directed a SHU offense that hit .188 for the match, dishing out 38 assists. Enzo Mackenzie (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) posted a .381 hitting percentage on nine kills.
Sacred Heart (4-16) blasted 16 kills along with a .400 hitting percentage in a first set that saw neither team grab more than a two point advantage. The Pioneers earned a set point at 24-23 but a service error leveled the score line. Jason Kinney (Salem, NH) gave SHU another set point with one of his six kills of the match. However, the Falcons were able to respond with a kill of their own and picked up a set point after a Pioneer ball handling error. Quentin Moore issued one of his ten kills of the afternoon to give Pfeiffer the dramatic 27-25 victory in the opening frame.
Pfeiffer (12-4) earned the biggest lead of the match at 14-11 in the second set following a SHU service error. However, Sacred Heart responded by claiming the next four points and pushing ahead 15-14 on a block from Will LeClerc (Fairfield, CT). The Falcons regained the momentum and a Moore kill gave Pfeiffer three set points at 24-21. The Pioneers were able to save the first two on a LeClerc kill followed by a Nick Hunt (Uniondale, NY) service ace. Hunt racked up a team high 10 kills for Sacred Heart in the match. Konstantin Weise ensured that the second set would not extend any further as his kill sealed Pfeiffer's 25-23 triumph.
The Pioneers built a 10-8 edge in the third set behind back-to-back kills from Mike Komlanc (St. Croix, Virgin Islands) and LeClerc. Komlanc had a superb afternoon tallying seven kills with a .353 hitting mark as well as five block assists. The game remained tight and with the scoreboard knotted at 17-17 the Falcons were able to rattle off four straight points and force SHU to call timeout. The Pioneers applied pressure and closed to within one at 22-21 after a block from Lutjen and Komlanc. Pfeiffer finished strong again and won the next three rallies to end the set, 25-21, and the match, 3-0.
The SHU men's volleyball team will now have over two weeks off before returning to EIVA play on March 24 at home against Harvard.