Fairfield, CT - The SHU men's volleyball team defeated Rutgers-Newark, 3-1, in an EIVA clash Saturday afternoon inside the William H. Pitt Center to snap the Pioneers 11 game losing streak. Bradley Borsay (Richmond, RI) hammered down 15 kills, including one on match point, to pace the SHU offense in the victory. Nick Hunt (Uniondale, NY) also reached double figures with 12 kills while freshman setter John Lutjen (Smithtown, NY) totaled 42 assists.
Sacred Heart (5-18, 2-9 EIVA) jumped on the Scarlet Knights early, building an 8-3 advantage. The visitors would be unable to reel in the Pioneers as SHU ripped 15 kills to go along with a blistering .500 hitting percentage in the opening frame. Sacred Heart used a balanced attack in the first set with all six starters recording either two or three kills. Jason Kinney (Salem, NH) registered a kill to end the game, 25-16, in favor of the Pioneers.
Rutgers-Newark (8-12, 1-9 EIVA) was able to keep the second set closer in the early stages and trailed by just one, 12-11, after a Grant Metheny kill. However, SHU engineered an 8-4 run that made it 20-15 and gave the Pioneers some breathing room. The surge featured a huge solo block from Mike Komlanc (St. Croix, Virgin Islands), who finished with two solo blocks as well as a pair of block assists. Enzo Mackenzie (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) supplied set point at 25-19 with a solo block of his own to move SHU within one set of the win. Mackenzie also finished the afternoon with eight kills.
The Pioneers appeared to be heading for a sweep, maintaining a two to three point edge throughout the majority of the third set. But the Scarlet Knights continued to battle back and a timely 5-1 spurt gave Rutgers-Newark a 23-21 lead. Hunt and Borsay answered for SHU with back-to-back kills to level the score line at 23-23. Austin Pappas put in one of his 11 kills for the Scarlet Raiders to bring up set point and a Pioneer hitting error ended the set, 25-23, as the visitors attempted a comeback.
Borsay dropped in four kills in the fourth set as Sacred Heart again played the majority of the frame with a slim advantage. Rutgers-Newark would duplicate its comeback from the third and a block off the hands of Lorenzo Samin and Manuel Felipez tied it at 21-21. Kinney pushed SHU back in front with a thunderous kill from the middle and the duo of Komlanc and Hunt made it 23-21 with a block. The Pioneers would finish strong, forcing a Scarlet Knight attack error to set up match point, which Borsay converted with a tip-kill.
The SHU men's volleyball team will look for back-to-back wins as they take to the road April 5 for a conference match against Saint Francis (PA).