Fairfield, CT – The SHU women's volleyball team defeated Central Connecticut State, 3-1, for the second time this season Saturday evening inside the William H. Pitt Center. Elise Sage (Greenwood Village, CO) ripped a season high 13 kills while swinging at a .435 clip. Kimmee Roleder (Pasadena, CA) notched a double-double with a match high 17 kills to go along with 14 digs. Senior captain Jessica Colberg (Long Beach, CA) led the SHU defense overall with a match best 17 digs. Johanna Ovsenek (London, Ontario) was the most efficient attacker in the building, ringing up 15 kills on a .440 hitting percentage.
"It's good to play well, they are a very good team," commented Sage after the match. "Every time we play them it's a tough match."
Sacred Heart (18-6, 6-1 NEC) stormed out to a 5-1 lead in the opening set behind back-to-back kills from Ovsenek. The first game would be the Pioneers best attacking performance, notching 16 kills while posting a .389 swinging mark. The SHU middle players, Ovsenek and Sage, combined for nine kills on 11 swings as SHU cruised to a 25-14 victory to start the match.
Central Connecticut State (14-8, 6-3 NEC) struggled in the second set, making seven attacking errors and finishing the frame with a -.111 hitting percentage. The Pioneers used an 11-2 surge in the set to build a comfortable 19-10 cushion. CCSU burned through both of its timeouts during the run but could not stop the SHU momentum. The Pioneers took the game, 25-18, following a solo block from Ovsenek that gave SHU a 2-0 lead heading into the intermission.
The Blue Devils came alive in the third set and grabbed a 10-4 advantage and SHU would never be able to recover. The Pioneers closed to within four at 14-10 following a service ace from Roleder but Central Connecticut State took the next six points to push the gap to 20-10. Sacred Heart finished the match with nine service aces overall compared to just one for CCSU. The Blue Devils hit at a blistering .500 pace en route to claiming the third set, 25-17.
The Pioneers answered the challenge by rattling off seven straight points early in the fourth set to gain an 8-1 edge. Freshman Alisa Mesa (Long Beach, CA) dished out 11 of her match high 45 assists in the set. Dianis Mercado (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) added six of her 12 digs in the fourth frame; she also finished the night with eight kills. The Blue Devils would never get closer than five points the rest of the way as the Pioneers won the fourth set 25-14, and the match, 3-1.
Sacred Heart takes on another potential playoff opponent tomorrow afternoon as they travel to Brooklyn, NY to square-off with the Long Island Blackbirds.