FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Nearly a month removed from dropping a five-setter to the Sharks in Brooklyn, the Sacred Heart women's volleyball team exacted some revenge on Saturday night as the Pioneers swept LIU, 3-0, in the Pitt Center. A sixth straight NEC victory (seventh straight win overall) vaults SHU to 13-10 overall and 8-2 in the league while the Sharks drop to 7-15 overall and 6-4 in the conference.
The Pioneers hit .256 for the match while holding the Sharks to just .132 including a -.121 attack percentage in the third set. Six different Pioneers finished with at least six kills while the leader in kills on the day for SHU had just nine as a balanced all-around attack led the way to the win for the home squad.
Sarah Ciszek was tremendous once again, finishing with 27 assists, 11 digs and two blocks while seven of her nine total attack attempts were kills (.778 percentage). Julia Murawinski totaled eight kills with a game-high five blocks while Gianna Scioletti added seven kills with four blocks, Makayla Dole posted eight kills, Liisel Nelis added a team-high nine kills to go along with nine digs and Reghan Palanchi finished with six kills.
1st Set (25-19 SHU)
- Neither team led by more than one for a large majority of the early stages of the first set as four lead changes and seven ties littered the stat sheet
- With SHU leading 11-9, the Pioneers rode a 4-0 run to give the home squad a six-point advantage at 15-9
- LIU had a quick 5-2 response as the Pioneers were ahead 16-14 before again stretching their lead back up to five at 20-15 behind back-to-back kills from Makayla Dole
- The opening set was finished off by Liisel Nelis who blasted home a service ace to give SHU the 25-19 victory to open play
2nd Set (25-20 SHU)
- A largely one-sided second set only saw one tie and one lead change as SHU held a slim one-point lead for the better early portions of the set
- The Pioneer advantage stretched to 12-9 on a Scioletti kill but the Sharks bounced back and cut the lead down to 13-12
- The set was won on a 7-1 SHU run as Dole took over, recording three straight kills for SHU on offense while the Sharks committed two costly ball handling errors in the Pioneer swing
- Back-to-back kills from Nelis nearly put the set away for SHU before Scioletti slammed home one of 19 kills in the set for the Pioneers to finish off the 25-20 win
3rd Set (25-18 SHU)
- Errors proved costly for LIU, especially at the start of the set, as the Sharks made four attack errors to go along with another ball handling error as SHU jumped out to a 7-1 advantage
- LIU stabilized and lowered the margin to as few as two points at 17-15 but weren't able to sniff the lead as SHU put the game away in the later stages of the set behind back-to-back Palanchi kills followed by a tandem block from Scioletti and Ciszek that nearly put the game away
- After another Shark attack error (one of 10 in the set) made it 24-18 SHU, Nelis put the game away with one of her nine kills to seal the sweep for the Pioneers
- This marks the sixth straight NEC win for the Pioneers, five of which have been sweeps including the last three at home
- Ciszek tallied her 12th double-double of the season through 23 matches as she posted 27 assists to go along with a team-leading 11 digs
- Ciszek also added seven kills on nine attempts as her .778 attack percentage is good enough for her second-best single-game total in 2019
- Scioletti's seven kills and four blocks is her highest total for both stat categories in the last three games
- Emma Smallcomb tallied 11 digs at the libero position, marking the fifth straight game and 14th time this season she has gone for double-digit dig totals
- Palanchi continues her consistent play as she has tallied at least five kills in 12 straight matches as she went for six today
- Nelis saw her double-digit kill streak end at four games as she narrowly missed a double-double with nine kills and nine digs on the action
- Murawinski matched her season-high with five blocks
The Pioneers head back on the road for the lengthy trip to Western Pennsylvania where SHU will take on Saint Francis U and Robert Morris. SHU defeated SFU 3-0 at home earlier this season while RMU is the lone NEC team to defeat the Pioneers in the Pitt Center as the Colonials came away with a 3-1 win back on Oct. 5.