Sage and Mercado Lead Pioneers to 3-0 Victory

Teaneck, N.J.—Dianis Mercado (Vega Baja, PR) led the Pioneers to a 3-0 win over the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights with 15 kills, SHU's the second consecutive sweep. The win lifts the Sacred Heart Women's Volleyball team over .500 (7-6) in conference play for the first time since Oct. 14.

Elise Sage (Greenwood Village, Colo.) hit an impressive .625 in the first set with six kills, on her way to hitting .478 in the match. The lead tied five times in the first 14 total points of the game. Bursting out of the 7-7 tie, a kill by Sage sent the Pioneers on a 7-2 streak giving them a big lead that would carry them to the one-set lead. Karly Shockey's (Chino Hills, Calif.) recorded the final kill, part of a five-point SHU run, to give the Pioneers a 25-16 win.

Sacred Heart overcame a nine-point deficit to claim the second set. With the score tied at five, FDU's Allison Butler's nine-point service run lifted the Knights to a 14-6 lead. The Pioneers chipped away, lessening the gap to seven points at 16-9 with a kill by Johanna Ovsenek (London, On.). Sara Fernandez (Guaynabo, PR) went back to the service line, serving three straight, including and ace, forcing FDU into a timeout. The break did not shake the sophomore as she continued with eight more serves giving Sacred Heart a 19-17 lead. The Knights tied the game at 19, but could never reclaim the lead as SHU went on to win it 25-21.

For the first time in the match, Sacred Heart claimed the first points of the set and never allowed FDU a lead all the way to the 25-20 match-clinching win. Sage and Mercado both hit over .400, hitting .429 and .417 respectively.

The Pioneers head out to western Pennsylvania next weekend to take on Robert Morris Saturday and Saint Francis (PA) Sunday.