BROOKLYN, N.Y. (October 12, 2013)—Senior Dianis Mercado (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) led the Pioneers with 14 kills as the Sacred Heart women's volleyball team was swept by LIU Brooklyn Saturday afternoon. The loss drops SHU to an even 9-9 on the season and 3-2 in Northeast Conference play, while the Blackbirds remain undefeated in conference play 5-0.
LIU took fast 5-0 lead to open the first set that Sacred Heart was never able to come back from. Down 8-3, the Pioneers called a timeout to try to rally the troops, but it was a failed effort as they committed back-to-back hitting errors digging themselves a deeper hole. The closest SHU managed was a six-point deficit, 10-4, as the Blackbirds took the first set 25-15.
After shaking off their first-set troubles, the Pioneers were ready to play in the second set taking the opening points. With the score tying 16 times, the teams continually exchanged points. Tied at 12-12, two kills from Mercado, who led the Pioneers with five kills in the set, combined with an ace from junior Alissa Young (La Verne, Calif.) put Sacred Heart up 15-12 and forced the Blackbirds to call a timeout. The break didn't stop the red hot Pioneers who added another point on a kill by Rachel Guida (Huntington, N.Y.) for their largest lead of the set 16-12. It didn't take long for LIU to catch up though. The Blackbirds brought it within two before Annika Foit's five-point service run boosted them to an 18-17 lead. The score knotted five more times before either team could get an edge, but LIU managed to snap the 22-22 tie with two consecutive points putting them at set-point. Sacred Heart got one more point with a Sarah Krufka (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) kill, but a Pioneer service error gave the Blackbirds the set 25-23.
Much like the previous set, neither team could manage much of an advantage in the third set until a kill by Foit sparked a four-point Blackbird run that resulted in a 15-11 lead. LIU seemed to own the set from there, only allowing Sacred Heart consecutive points once on back-to-back kills by Mercado, as they took the set 25-18. Once again, Mercado led the Pioneers with six kills.
Sacred Heart is back in action Sunday afternoon at St. Francis Brooklyn.