Volleyball Clinches NEC Tournament Berth with Convincing Sweep of Quinnipiac

Hamden, CT – The SHU women's volleyball team secured a spot in the 2011 Northeast Conference Tournament with a 3-0 rout of Quinnipiac on the road Friday night.  The Pioneers had a balanced attack all night, hitting at a .305 clip for the night, while holding the Bobcats to a negative swinging mark.  Jessica Colberg (Long Beach, CA), Ashlyn Trimble (Temecula,  CA), and Kimmee Roleder (Pasadena, CA) all notched double-digit digs as the SHU defense allowed just 21 QU kills and issued nine total blocks.

Sacred Heart (20-7, 10-2) stormed out to a huge 17-3 advantage in the first set with all of the Bobcats points coming via SHU service errors.   Elise Sage (Greenwood Village, CO) hammered five of her seven total assists in the first frame.  Megan Pulone (Diamond Bar, CA) also dished out 11 of her match high 11 assists in the frame as SHU claimed the opening set 25-16.

Quinnipiac (4-22, 3-10 NEC) got its first kill much earlier in the second set, cutting a SHU lead to just 2-1 but eventually fell into another deep hole at 8-2. SHU was bolstered by four of Dianis Mercado's (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) total nine kills in the set.  SHU swing at a .300 clip en route to a 25-14 set two triumph.

The Pioneer left little doubt in the third and final set, building a 15-6 cushion following back-to-back QU attack errors.  Roleder dropped in half of her eight total kills in the final set, a 25-13 Sacred Heart victory.  The final point came on a Colberg service ace, one of SHU's five aces of the night as the Pioneers polished off the sweep of its intrastate rival.

The women's volleyball team has two home matches this weekend, hosting St. Francis (NY) tomorrow at 1:00 pm before hosting Long Island on senior day, Sunday at 4:00 pm.

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