Pioneers Shutout Blue Devils - Extend Winning Streak To 14 Games
The Sacred Heart women's volleyball team recorded its 11th shutout of 2010 with a 3-0 sweep of Central Connecticut State Sunday afternoon and also moves the program best winning streak to 14. Senior captain Courtney Kidd-Kadlubek (Santa Barbara, CA) spread around 40 assists and also added eight digs on the afternoon. Elise Sage (Greenwood Village, CO) posted her second consecutive match without an error, totaling ten kills and a .417 hitting percentage.
Sacred Heart (19-4, 8-0 NEC) opened up an early lead in the first set with back-to-back service aces from Dianis Mercado (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) to make it 8-5, SHU. Mercado finished the match with a double-double, tallying 13 kills and 14 digs. After a CCSU timeout the Pioneers continued to roll and extended the cushion to 20-12 on the strength of kills from Ashlyn Trimble (Temecula, CA) and Johanna Ovsenek (London, Ontario). The Blue Devils rallied with six of the next eight points to close the gap to 22-18. The Pioneers eventually took the first set 25-19 on Sage's sixth kill of the opening frame.
Central Connecticut State (5-14, 2-5 NEC) was held to a match low .102 hitting clip in the second set. Similar to the first set SHU built an early lead with four straight points on the serve of Trimble, making it 12-7. A few points later Trimble dropped in one of her 10 kills of the match to move the second set to 16-9. The Blue Devils fought throughout the frame and won three straight points to close the gap to 23-20 late in the game. However, back-to-back attack errors from CCSU gave the set to the Pioneers 25-20.
The Pioneers faced a scary moment early in the third set when Jessica Colberg (Long Beach, CA) and Maile Hetherington (Thousand Oaks, CA) collided and were slow to get up. Neither player suffered a serious injury but did return to the match. Colberg still recorded a team high 15 digs while Hetherington posted three kills and three blocks. The two teams stayed close and a SHU attack error brought CCSU within two at 20-18. However, three straight points from Sacred Heart, including a Kidd-Kadlubek ace, but the Pioneers in command at 23-18. Ovsenek put away the match point at 25-19 with her eighth kill of the match, moving her hitting percentage to .412 for the day.
The victory moves the Pioneers to 10-0 at home as SHU completes a perfect first half of the Northeast Conference schedule. The women's volleyball team returns to action on the road next weekend against Fairleigh Dickinson and Bryant.