College Park, MD - Kimmee Roleder (Pasadena, CA) had a monster afternoon with 18 kills and 27 digs but the SHU women's volleyball team fell to Delaware, 3-1, in the first game of the Spring Hill Suites at Arundel Mills Invitational. Sacred Heart held a lead in each set but the Blue Hens battled back to pick up the victory and end the Pioneers six match win streak. The Pioneers conclude the tournament tomorrow as they take on Yale and host Maryland.
Sacred Heart (6-2) jumped out to a 10-5 advantage in the opeing frame following a block from Roleder. The Blue Hens claimed seven of the next nine points to knot the score at 12-12. DU went on an identical run late in the stanza to build a 24-21 cushion. Dianis Mercado (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) and Alissa Young (La Verne, CA) registered back-to-back kills to save the first two set points. SHU fought off two more set points before an attacking error gave the first set to the Blue Hens, 27-25. Mercado finished the match with 13 while Young tallied nine.
The two sides battled back and forth throughout the second set and a Johanna Ovsenek (London, Ontario) killed leveled it at 21-21. Delaware (2-6) earned back-to-back points and forced Sacred Heart head coach Rob Machan to call timeout. The Blue Hens, who were playing just their second match of the year not against a ranked opponent, eventually won the set 25-23. The Pioneers racked up 18 kills in the set but also committed 13 errors.
The Pioneers rebounded with their best attacking performance of the afternoon, posting a .276 hitting percentage. SHU used a 9-3 run to open up a 21-13 edge, eventually fending off a sweep with a 25-18 triumph in the set. Megan Pulone (Diamond Bar, CA) dished out six of her total 27 assists in the frame, teammate Alisa Mesa (Long Beach, CA) finished the day with 16 total assists.
Delaware hatled the Pioneers momentum with a timeout as SHU rolled to an 8-3 advantage to start the fourth set. The Blue Hens surged back and evened what would be the deciding set at 10-10. Sacred Heart couldn't hold on late as Delaware won six of the last eight points to claim the set, 25-21, and the match, 3-1.
Mercado also had 10 digs as the sophomore recorded her second double-double of the season. Libero Jessica Colberg (Long Beach, CA) also dug 13 balls on the Pioneer back line. Roleder's 27 dig afternoon moves her average to 12.75 per match and 3.92 per set.
The Pioneers face Maryland at 12:30 pm tomorrow afternoon and close the weekend against Yale at 4:30 pm.