August 31, 2013

Pioneers Sweep UMass-Lowell

LOWELL, MASS. (August 31, 2013)—The Sacred Heart women's volleyball team dominated UMass Lowell Saturday afternoon as they swept the Riverhawks for their second win of the season. Sophomore Allison Riggs (Anaheim, Calif.) hit .714 with a match-leading 10 kills on 14 attempts with no errors. 

UMass-Lowell jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in the opening set on Brooke Peterson's service run, but the Pioneers fought back tying the score three times before SHU ran away with the set with a 19-5 run, which featured service runs by Ana Gonzalez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico), Kiki Robinson (Bakersfield, Calif.) and Dianis Mercado (Vega Baja, Calif.), to take the match 25-12. Mercado and Riggs led the set with five kills each, while rookie setter Robinson recorded 14 assists.

The Pioneers wasted no time in the second set taking a quick 5-2 lead and forcing UMass-Lowell into a timeout. The break didn't slow down the forceful Pioneers as service runs by Gonzalez, Sarah Krufka (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) and Katie Direnzo (Shelton, Conn.) easily expanded SHU's lead to eight points. SHU continued to serve and attack effectively as they doubled UMass-Lowell's point total 22-11. A short run by the Riverhawks was soon halted by a double block of Riggs and Robinson that ended the set.

Sacred Heart continued its strong play into the third set as they led by as many as 10 points. Strong serving from Mercado and junior Alissa Young (La Verne, Calif.) helped the Pioneers to a 10-4 lead.  From this point the lead would only grow as SHU battle its way to a 20-11 lead.  The Pioneers earned their final three points of the match with kills from freshman Jene Lee (San Dimas, Calif.), Robinson and Young.

The Pioneers are now 2-1 heading into Friday's home-opener against the American Eagles in the opening match of the 2013 SHU Hampton Inn Invitational.