Fairfield, Conn.—The Sacred Heart Women's Volleyball Team dropped their first match of the 2012 SHU Hampton Inn Shelton Invitation. The Pioneers lost to Central Florida in three sets. Natalie Kridel (Huntington Beach, Calif.). led SHU hitting .500 with nine kills on 14 attempts. Setter Alisa Mesa (Long Beach, Calif.) had 10 digs in the match, leading the Pioneers, in addition to 25 assists.
The first set was trouble for Sacred Heart from the beginning as the Knights opened with five points streak before Alissa Young's (La Verne, Calif.) kill gave the Pioneers their first point. Sacred Heart was never able to gain a lead in the set with Central Florida putting together multiple four-point runs. The Pioneers hit .067 in the 25-14 loss.
The Pioneers held tight with Central Florida in the beginning of the second set. Karly Shockey (Chino Hills, Calif.) put together a three-serve run with SHU down early to tie the game at 3. The score would tie five more times, with Sacred Heart managing a one-point lead four times, before a kill by Loren Cory sent the Knights on a 7-2 streak, jumping out to a lead the Pioneers would never catch en route to the 25-17 Central Florida win.
Kridel led the third set, hitting .833 (5 for 6), while Young was right behind her with .800 (4 for 5). Despite good hitting from the two hitters, Central Florida burst out to a big lead at 10-3. SHU battled back, cutting the lead to 13-11 forcing the Knights to take a time out. Sacred Heart cut the lead to one, 15-14, before Dani Harrison went on a six-point service run giving Central Florida a lead the Pioneers could not catch, as SHU dropped the set 18-25.
The Pioneers are back in action tomorrow in Day 2 of the invitational, first, against Dartmouth at noon and then cross-town rival Fairfield University at 5:00 p.m.