Pioneers Sweep Saint Francis U in Regular Season Finale

LORETTO, PENN. (November 17, 2013)—The Sacred Heart women's volleyball team swept the Saint Francis U Red Flash Saturday afternoon in the final match of the 2013 regular season. Rookie Sarah Krufka (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) led the match with 14 kills while hitting .333. The Pioneers outplayed the Red Flash in all categories on their way to the win. SHU finishes the regular season 15-15 and 9-5 in conference. 

SFU took the first three points of the match for an early lead, but the Pioneers quickly recovered tying the set with three consecutive points, including back-to-back points by senior Dianis Mercado (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico). The teams exchanged points before Sacred Heart snapped the 6-6 tie with a kill by Jene Lee (San Dimas, Calif.). The kill ignited a five-point SHU run that increased the Pioneers' lead to 10-6. The Red Flash couldn't overcome the deficit and Sacred Heart took the set 25-19.

The Pioneers led right from the get-go of the second set capitalizing on two SFU errors. Sacred Heart improved its lead to eight points on the strong serving of Ana Gonzalez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico), who recorded a six-point service run. Saint Francis U only managed to come as close as four points, and the Pioneers took the second set 25-19. Allison Riggs (Anaheim, Calif.) hit .800, recording four of her five attacks for kills.

The teams exchanged the first points of the final set before Sara Fernandez's (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) five-point service run boosted SHU's lead. The run featured three points from Krufka who led the set with five kills. The Red Flash battled back capitalizing on a 7-1 run to regain the lead 12-9. SFU seemed to be running towards the finish line shutting down the Pioneer offense, but down 20-14 Sacred Heart rallied using four Red Flash errors and a kill from Mercado to cut the deficit to two points. After trading points, SFU stood just two points away from winning the set, 23-19 forcing Sacred Heart Head Coach Rob Machan to call a timeout to rally the troops. The quick break was all the Pioneers needed to throw the Red Flash off their game. Six straight SFU errors gave Sacred Heart the set 25-23, and with it the match.

Next weekend, the Pioneers travel to LIU Brooklyn to compete in the 2013 Northeast Conference Championship.