Pioneers Sweep Bobcats 3-0 for Third NEC Win

Fairfield, Conn.--The Sacred Heart University Women's Volleyball Team downed the in-state rival Quinnipiac Bobcats in three-straight sets Saturday afternoon. Rookie Karly Shockey (Chino Hills, Calif.) led the Pioneers with 10 kills throughout the match. The win brings SHU to 5-15 on the season and 3-3 against Northeast Conference opponents.

The first set, won in dramatic fashion, required extra points before Sacred Heart could take a 1-0 lead in the match. The Pioneers took a quick lead 3-0, which the Bobcats immediately matched. Thus went the majority of the set, with Quinnipiac just steps behind Sacred Heart and not able to take the lead. The scored tied four times in the set, probably the most significant was when Natalie Kridel's (Huntington Beach, Calif.) hitting error allowed the game to knot at 24. The Bobcats took their only lead of the set match on Tanner Celestin's kill, to bring them to set-point. The Pioneers came back with a kill by Kridel to once again even the score. With Dianis Mercado (Vega Baja, PR) at the service line, Elise Sage (Greenwood Village, Colo.) recorded a kill to give Sacred Heart the advantage. Mercado notched the final blow giving SHU the set 27-25.

Sacred Heart outkilled Quinnipiac 11-8 in the second set, with Shockey and Direnzo leading the way with three kills a piece. The Pioneers dominated the first half, bursting out to an eleven-point lead 13-4. Sacred Heart strung together a few three-point runs maintaining the big lead until the Bobcats started chipping away in the latter half. But they could not catch the surging Pioneers, as SHU went on to take a huge 2-0 lead in the match with the 25-18 win.

The Pioneers overpowered the Bobcats in the final set, winning by 10 points, 25-15. Sacred Heart took a lead 4-0 lead out of the gate on a kill by Sage and freshman Katie Direnzo's (Shelton, Conn.) four-point service run. Their lead only grew, with a trio of freshmen recording nine of the Pioneers 14 kills. With the Pioneers on set point, thanks for Johanna Ovsenek's (London, On.) kill, Quinnipiac notched a kill, but Celestin served the ball into the net giving Sacred Heart the match.

Sacred Heart returns home next weekend on Saturday to face the Robert Morris Colonials at 1:00 p.m.