Lee and Mercado Lead Pioneers in Loss to Fairfield

FAIRFIELD, CONN. (October 30, 2013)—Dianis Mercado (Vega Baja, P.R.) and Jene Lee (San Dimas, Calif.) led the Sacred Heart women's volleyball team with eight kills each as the team fell to cross-town rival Fairfield University in three sets Wednesday evening in Alumni Hall. Lee, who has had strong outings the last few matches, posted a .385 hitting percentage, while fellow rookie middleblocker Maddie Losure (Bethlehem, Conn.) had an errorless match recording five kills on 10 attempts. The non-conference loss drops the Pioneers to an even 12-12 on the season.

Fairfield took the first three points of the opening set, but Sacred Heart worked its way back tying the score at nine with back-to-back Mercado kills. But a Pioneer service error started a five-point run for the Stags that SHU could never recover from. Up 21-13, Fairfield tacked on a four-point run, which consisted of three Pioneer errors, to take the set 25-13. Losure (2-for-4) and Lee (3-for-5 with one error) posted .500 and .400 hitting percentages leading the squad.

Sacred Heart played its best set of the match nearly taking the second set. The Pioneers combined a Fairfield service error, a Mercado kill and a service ace from Ana Gonzalez (Guaynabo, P.R.) for an early 3-0 lead, but it wasn't long before the strong Stags team evened the score at five. The teams exchanged points throughout the middle of the set, tying the score on 11 more occasions. The Pioneers came from behind to tie the score at 21 with a kill from Lee, who went 4-for-4 in the game, and got the go-ahead on a Stag attack error, but the lead didn't last long as Fairfield's Hayley Moyer notched a kill to knot the score again at 22. After trading points, the Stags posted back-to-back kills to take a two set lead, 25-23. 

Despite a strong second set, Sacred Heart failed to carry over the momentum hitting -.040. Losure was the only Pioneer to hit positive (.750), recording three of her four attempts for kills. The Stags led from the start. After opening with a 5-1 lead, Fairfield extended its lead to seven points, 10-3, with Marilyn Peizer's service run forcing SHU to call a timeout. The break didn't stop the dominant Fairfield squad, who clinched the match with the 25-14 win.

The Pioneers return home Saturday evening to resume Northeast Conference play when they host the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights at 5:00 p.m.