SMITHFIELD, R.I. (October 5, 2013)—Alissa Young (La Verne, Calif.) led the Pioneers hitting .417 as the Sacred Heart women's volleyball team came from behind to defeat Bulldogs 3-1 Saturday afternoon in the Chace Athletic Center on the Bryant University campus. Dianis Mercado (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) tallied a match-leading 12 kills as SHU moved to 3-0 against Northeast Conference opponents, and 9-6 on the second.
The Pioneers committed four straight errors to open the match, allowing the Bulldogs an early lead. Despite coming within two points on six occasions, Sacred Heart could not catch Bryant and dropped the set 25-21. Rookie setter Kiki Robinson (Bakersfield, Calif.) collected 10 assists in the set, while Mercado led the team with three kills.
Sacred Heart took the first points of the second set, but was quickly matched by Bryant. The Bulldogs managed a one-point lead before the Pioneers knotted the score again at four. The teams continued to exchange the lead with the score tying five times before Mercado's four-point service run boosted the Pioneers to a 12-9 lead and forced Bryant to call a time out. The Bulldogs then put two on the board, but their streak was halted by a kill from Sarah Krufka (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), who posted an errorless set going 3-for-6. With Krufka at the serving line, the Pioneers went on a five point run extending their lead to 18-12. SHU continued the ride the momentum, and tie the match, with the 25-18 win.
After trading opening points, SHU strung together three to take a 4-1 lead that they would maintain to the end. Up by six, 14-8, Mercado, who leads the team in service aces, went on a five-point tare upping Sacred Heart's lead to 11 points, 19-8. A kill by Krufka sealed the deal for the Pioneers, who took a 2-1 lead with the 25-21 win. Mercado led the set with four kills, while Young was a perfect 3-for-3.
The Bulldogs came out strong in the fourth set opening the set with a 3-1 lead, but Sacred Heart chipped away, and on a 4-2 run, took the lead 6-5. Bryant stayed close throughout the set, but the Pioneers were always one step ahead and took the set 25-21.
The Pioneers are back in action tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. at Central Connecticut State University to take on the Blue Devils.