Pioneers 0-3 in Aztec Challenge

2 Sage
2 Sage

Fairfield, Conn.—The Sacred Heart Women's Volleyball Team wrapped up the Aztec Challenge 0-3 after losing to Utah State 3-1 and Montana 3-0 today. Elise Sage (Greenwood Village, Colo.) led the Pioneers in day two of the tournament, combining to hit .281 on the day with 13 kills on 32 assists.

The second set was the best for the Pioneers in the first match of the day, as they topped Utah Valley 28-26. In their only win of the game, SHU combined to hit .209, with Karly Shockey (Chino Hills, Calif.) leading the way, hitting .400 with three kills on five attempts with only one error. The Pioneers maintained the lead after a Sage kill gave them the go-ahead 12-11, until Utah State's Rachel Orr tied the game at 24. After exchanging possessions to tie the game at 25, Sacred Heart surged with two kills by Sage and the game-winner coming from rookie Natalie Kridel (Huntington Beach, Calif.).

With the match tied at one a piece, the Wolverines took the final two sets 25-19 and 25-21. The Pioneers started with the lead in the last set, jumping out on a 7-4 run. After being tied at 10, Utah Valley took off, gaining a 23-17 lead. With the Wolverines just two points away from claiming victory, SHU went on 4-1 to bring them within three before Elle Brainard recorded the match-winning kill.

The Pioneers' second match of the day against Montana started out in Sacred Heart's favor, as they remained close through the first 18 points of the set and tying the score at nine. Two attack errors by Alissa Young (La Verne, Calif.) gave the Grizzlies a lead they would not relinquish en route to the 25-22 win.

Montana's momentum continued as they only allowed Sacred Heart a brief lead in the second set before cruising to another win, this time 25-14. The next set was eerily similar for the Pioneers as they only holding a lead for three serves before the Grizzlies took off on a 14-5 run to claim the match.

Sacred Heart comes home next weekend to host the SHU Hampton Inn Shelton Invitational where they'll face Central Florida, Dartmouth and Fairfield University. But before that, they face one more west coast opponent in California Fullerton tomorrow at 5:00 pm EST.