Fairfield, CT - Sacred Heart got 10 kills off the bench from Maile Hetherington (Thousand Oaks, CA) as the women's volleyball team won its sixth straight with a 3-1 (25-16, 26-28, 25-17, 25-19) triumph over Fairleigh Dickinson Saturday afternoon. The victory moves the Pioneers to 1-0 in conference play and 4-0 overall within the friendly confines of the Pitt Center. Dianis Mercado (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) led the Pioneers overall with 17 kills and also posted 13 digs.
Sacred Heart (11-4, 1-0 NEC) cruised out to a 6-2 lead in the opening set after an ace from Courtney Kidd-Kadlubek (Santa Barbara, CA). Kidd-Kadlubek finished the match with 53 assists as well as 10 digs. The Knights fought back and closed the gap to 9-7 following a kill from Sarah Berkland. The Pioneers extended the cushion shortly later on five points from the serve of Johanna Ovsenek (London, Ontario). Elise Sage (Greenwood Village, CO) paced the SHU attack in the opening frame with five kills and a .400 hitting percentage. Freshman Christina Bauch (Trabuco Canyon, CA) ended the set 25-16 in favor of the Pioneers with a service ace.
Fairleigh Dickinson (5-11, 0-1 NEC) had by far its best set in the second as the visitors hit at a .297 clip to eventually even the match at 1-1. Meaghan Wheeler dropped in four of her team high 11 kills in the game. Sacred Heart fought off three set points on kills from Hetherington and Sage as well as a FDU service error. Wheeler slammed home the point to give her team the set point at 27-26 and her teammate Sarah Willey knocked in the kill to end the set 28-26 for the Knights.
The Pioneers responded in the third, coming off the bench and taking an 8-3 advantage after back-to-back aces from Mercado. SHU then ran off five straight points with Ovsenek serving to pad the lead at 14-5. The Knights would never get any closer than seven points as Sacred Heart took the third frame 25-17 to take a 2-1 set lead overall. Ashlyn Trimble (Temecula, CA) supplied three of her total eight kills in the set while Mercado led the way with four put aways, including the final point of the game.
The fourth set stayed close throughout the beginning stages as the two teams found themselves tied at 12-12. Sacred Heart then took the next three points to force the Knights to call a timeout. Kidd-Kadlubek and Sage recorded kills on the next two points to stretch the SHU advantage to 17-12. Fairleigh Dickinson got back to within two at 19-17 but a Trimble kill kept the Knights at bay. The match would end 25-19 in the fourth set after back-to-back errors from FDU. Jessica Colberg (Long Beach, CA) had a solid match on the Pioneer backline as she posted a match high 17 digs.
The Pioneers return to action for another Northeast Conference home match this Wednesday against rival Quinnipiac. Start time is set for 7:00 pm in the William H. Pitt Center.