FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Led by 14 kills and 18 digs by senior Dianis Mercado (Vega Baja, P.R.), the Sacred Heart women's volleyball team swept Robert Morris 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-22) Sunday afternoon at the Pitt Center. The Pioneers move to 2-0 in the Northeast Conference and are currently on a three-match winning streak.
Mercado hit a match-high .444 on Sunday. Freshman Sarah Krufka (Santa Margarita, Calif.) had 10 kills and was in on four blocks. Allison Riggs (Anaheim, Calif.) led Sacred Heart with five blocks. Alissa Young (La Verne, Calif.) hit .333 with eight kills and a match-high five aces. Setter Kiki Robinson (Bakersfield, Calif.) had 37 assists.
Sacred Heart (8-6, 2-0 NEC) jumped out to a fast 5-2 lead in the opening set, getting aces from Mercado and Ana Gonzalez (Guaynabo, P.R.). After a Robert Morris (1-15, 1-1 NEC) kill made the score 9-6, the Pioneers went on a 6-2 run highlighted by two blocks to go up 15-8. Sacred Heart led by as much as eight in the set with the Colonials only getting within five. The Pioneers won the first set 25-17 on a block by Riggs and Krufka on set point.
The Pioneers jumped out to a 10-6 lead to start the second set, getting two kills from both Krufka and Young. Robert Morris then went on a 4-0 run to tie the set at 10-10 before a Mercado kill put Sacred Heart back in front, 11-10. The two sides then traded points until the Colonials got a block and a kill by Arden Fisher to take a 14-12 lead. Mercado got the Pioneers back in the set with a kill, followed by two aces and a block by Zimmerman and Riggs to give Sacred Heart a 16-14 lead. The Pioneers grew the lead to four at 22-18 on a Young kill, then won the set 25-19 on kills by Krufka and Mercado to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Sacred Heart and Robert Morris traded points early in the third set, playing to a 6-6 tie. After the Colonials took an 8-6 lead, a Mercado kill started a 5-0 run that put the Pioneers in the lead 11-8. The Pioneers would not relinquish the lead, with Robert Morris only getting as close as one the rest of the way. With the score 23-22, Mercado put down her 14th kill to give Sacred Heart match point. Young then served an ace to give the Pioneers the set 25-22 and the match 3-0.
The Pioneers hit .243 for the match, including a .293 mark in the final set. Sacred Heart held Robert Morris to a .156 hitting percentage, posting 44 digs to the Colonials' 42. The Pioneers also had seven blocks to Robert Morris' six. Erica Robb led Robert Morris with nine kills and a .421 hitting percentage. Setter Hannah Robinson added 22 assists, as Fisher and Melissa Bograd each had 11 digs for the Colonials.
Sacred Heart returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 5 with a 1 p.m. match at Bryant.