Fairfield, CT – The SHU women's volleyball team had its five match winning streak snapped at home Saturday evening in a 3-1 loss to Robert Morris. Alisa Mesa (Long Beach, CA) dished out 50 assists and Kimmee Roleder (Pasadena, CA) blasted a match high 21 kills in the loss. SHU posted a .288 hitting percentage, compared to RMU's .277 mark, but dropped two extended sets in a rematch of last year's Northeast Conference title tilt.
Three Pioneers registered double-doubles in the match as Mesa and Roleder both reached double digit digs to go along with their offensive totals. Dianis Mercado (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico), the 2010 NEC Rookie of the Year, supplied 18 kills and 14 digs in the contest. Johanna Ovsenek (London, Ontario) was the squad's most efficient attacker with 16 kills and a .423 hitting percentage. Jessica Colberg (Long Beach, CA) chipped in 12 digs on the Pioneer backline.
Sacred Heart (16-6, 6-1 NEC) ripped 19 kills in the opening set and jumped out to an early 5-2 edge. Hannah Veith carried the Colonials in the first set as the middle player totaled 18 kills in the match, including seven in the first stanza. Veith also contributed to nine of RMU's 13 total blocks, five of which came in the first game. The Pioneers still had a pair of set points but would not be able to capitalize. The Colonials claimed the first game, 28-26, on their second set point via a SHU attack error.
The Pioneers were dominant in the second set and cruised to a 25-15 triumph behind six kills from Ovsenek. SHU went on a 13-2 surge in the game to turn a 7-7 deadlock into a commanding 20-9 advantage.
Robert Morris (10-12, 5-2 NEC) held a slim cushion throughout the third set and eventually earned four set points at 24-20 after taking back-to-back rallies on kills from Veith and Erica Robb. However, the Pioneers rattled off three straight points on a RMU service error and kills from Alissa Young (La Verne, CA) and Roleder to make it 24-23. The Colonials thought they had the set one on the next point letting a tipped ball fall close to the line on their side of the court. However, SHU got the call and the score was deadlocked at 24-24. The Pioneers couldn't complete the comeback and committed attacking errors on three of the next four points, two from RMU blocks, to drop the set, 27-25.
Both sides had their best hitting display in the fourth set but the Colonials 17 kills and .389 clip outweighed SHU's 15 kills and .324 mark. Robert Morris built a lead in the middle stages of the set and another SHU comeback attempt would fall short, 25-21. The defeat also snaps the Pioneers ten game winning streak against NEC opposition.
The SHU volleyball team is right back in action tomorrow afternoon for a 1:00 pm tilt with Saint Francis (PA).