October 29, 2010

Pioneers Dispose Of Army In Straight Sets - Increase Win Streak To 17

The Pioneers recorded seven blocks and held the Black Knights to a -.074 hitting clip en route to picking up a 17th consecutive victory overall and move to 11-0 at home in the Pitt Center.  Elise Sage (Greenwood Village, CO), the Northeast Conference's leader in hitting percentage, had another splendid performance notching 13 kills and swinging at .600.  Courtney Kidd-Kadlubek (Santa Barbara, CA) entered the match 10th in the NCAA in assists per set and stayed on pace with 35 helpers in the 3-0 victory over Army.

Sacred Heart (22-4) exploded out of the gates to win the first six points of the contest on serves from Christina Bauch (Trabuco Canyon, CA).  Bauch would finish the night with eight digs while SHU libero Jessica Colberg (Long Beach, CA) had 11 and Ashlyn Trimble (Temecula, CA) recorded a match-high 12 digs.  After a timeout the Black Knights rallied and brought the match level at 10-10.  SHU used another surge to regain the lead with five straight points on Trimble serves to force another Army timeout, the streak was capped with a block from Sage and Kidd-Kadlubek.  Three straight Pioneer attack errors made the set interesting but Sacred Heart eventually came out with the 25-20 triumph on a kill from Johanna Ovsenek (London, Ontario).  Ovsenek put down 10 total kills for the match and hit at a .286 clip on 21 attempts.

Army (15-11) continued to struggle offensively, getting just eight kills in the second set after just five in the opening frame, in which the Black Knights hit -.086.  The Pioneer offense went in the other direction, improving every set from .095 in the first to .324 in the second and .440 in the final set.  Army tried to recover from an early deficit and closed to 15-12 on back-to-back aces from Francine Vasquez.  But that would as close as the visitors would get in the set as Sage controlled the action with five kills without making an error.  Ovsenek again provided the kill that closed out the set, a 25-17 SHU victory.

The third set got away from the Black Knights quickly as head coach Alma Kovaci tried numerous substitutions, searching for an answer to her struggling offense and strong Pioneer attack.  Kidd-Kadlubek chipped in with two kills of her own on her only two attempts of the set as SHU did not drop back-to-back points in the set.  Ovsenek made it three-for-three in notching the final point of the set for SHU with another kill to cap off the Pioneers 17th straight win in convincing fashion, 25-9 in third.

The SHU women's volleyball team returns to action, and Northeast Conference play, at home tomorrow against St. Francis (NY).  Game time is set for 2:30 pm.