The SHU women's volleyball team posted a huge .356 hitting percentage as they swept Howard 25-13, 25-11, and 25-19 to move to 2-0 at the Madison Bingaman Memorial Tournament. Elise Sage (Greenwood Village, CO) led the Pioneer attack with nine kills and recorded a .500 hitting percentage. Johanna Ovsenek (London Ontario) added eight kills and a .615 hitting mark.
Sacred Heart (5-3) cruised out to an early 13-3 advantage in the first set, winning five straight points on the serves of both Ashlyn Trimble (Temecula, CA) and Sage. Trimble also paced the Sacred Heart defense with 11 digs for the match. SHU won five straight points again later in the set on the serve of Christina Bauch (Trabuco Canyon, CA), including two aces. The Pioneers clinched the first set on one of freshman Dianis Mercado's (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) nine kills of the afternoon.
The Pioneers continued their dominance in the second set as the posted a season high .526 hitting percentage. Bauch used two more aces in another five serve streak to give the Pioneers a commanding 14-4 advantage. Sage put the game away at 25-11 with a kill assisted by Megan Pulone (Diamond Bar, CA). Pulone had three assists in the match while Courtney Kidd-Kadlubek led SHU with 35.
Howard (1-10) held tough in the third set and actually turned the tide, building an 11-6 advantage. The Pioneers rallied back to win six of the next seven points and tie the set at 12-12. After another tie at 16-16 SHU opened up a lead with Maile Hetherington (Thousand Oaks, CA) and Mercado along with an ace from Trimble. Kidd-Kadlubek ended the set and the match at 25-19 with Sacred Heart's 13th ace of the afternoon.
The women's volleyball team returns to action tomorrow as they finish up play at the Madison Bingaman Memorial Tournament with matches against Ohio St. and co-host UMBC.