Fairfield, CT – The SHU women's volleyball team extended its home winning streak to 21 matches and started the 2011 Northeast Conference schedule with a win, shutting out Fairleigh Dickinson Saturday night, 3-0. Kimmee Roleder (Pasadena, CA) blasted 12 kills and notched a .296 hitting percentage to pace the Pioneer offense. Dianis Mercado (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) led the squad with a match high 13 digs.
Sacred Heart (10-4, 1-0 NEC) had its best attacking performance of the night in the first set, hammering 14 digs against only four errors, good for a .303 hitting percentage. However, the Knights kept things close early on as a Meghan Alger ace knotted the game at 13-13. SHU responded as Johanna Ovsenek (London, Ontario) put down one of her six kills of the night followed by a Mercado kill to force FDU to take a timeout. The Sacred Heart momentum continued as the home team took eight of the last ten points of the set to close out a 25-19 triumph.
Fairleigh Dickinson (9-4, 0-1 NEC) fell behind immediately in the second set and would never be able to catch the Pioneers. The SHU cushion ballooned to five points at 18-13 as Elise Sage (Greenwood Village, CO) and Mercado combined for a block. Sage and Mercado both finished the night with five kills in the box score. Roleder put away the final point of the frame off of a feed from Alisa Mesa (Long Beach, CA) as the Pioneers went up 2-0 overall on the strength of the 25-21 victory.
Mesa finished the match with 17 assists and four digs. "Our goal is to play our best and try and get better every game," said Mesa after the match.
Both sides registered the same numbers of kills as errors in the third and final set, posting a .000 hitting percentage. The difference would be the Knights six service errors in the frame as SHU got to match point at 24-18 following a serving miscue. Fairleigh Dickinson fought off the first three match points before a ball handling error gave Sacred Heart the 3-0 victory.
The triumph keeps the Pioneers home winning streak intact as SHU has not dropped a set at home in 2011. The Pioneers will be right back in action tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 pm as the Bryant Bulldogs come to the William H. Pitt Center.