Volleyball Sweeps LIU In NEC Semifinal

Volleyball swept LIU in the NEC Semifinals Friday night.
Volleyball swept LIU in the NEC Semifinals Friday night.

The Sacred Heart University women's volleyball team swept Long Island University in the Northeast Conference Tournament semifinal in Moon Township, Pa. Saturday night. The Pioneers improve to 19-11 on the year and advance to face Central Connecticut State University in the championship match, Saturday afternoon.

Sarah Ciszek and Liisel Nelis led the Pioneer effort Friday. Ciszek finished with a .444 hitting percentage, nine kills, 32 assists and eight digs. Nelis had a double-double, with 11 kills and 11 digs.

SHU is playing in its third NEC Campionship in the past four seasons. The Pioneers swept CCSU during the regular season, by indentical 3-1 schools. The Blue Devils upset top-seeded Robert Morris, 3-2, in the first semifinal

Turning Point:

  • With the Pioneers trailing 15-13 in the final set, Ciszek took over the match, with six assists, four kills and a block, to spur a 12-6 run
  • In the second set, the Pioneers trailed 14-12 before Julia Murawinski and Reghan Palanchi went back-to-back with kills and Lillian Vargo followed with an ace to give SHU at 15-14 lead that it would not relinquish

By The Numbers:

  • Scioletti had four blocks, two solo, and set the single-season block record in the process (106)
  • The Pioneers finished with 9.0 team blocks
  • SHU hit .291 for the match, with a .333 effort in the first set
  • Makayla Dole and Murawinski both had eight kills
  • SHU held the Sharks to .111 hitting
  • Jasmine Rogers notched 10 digs and five assists for the Pioneers
  • Anastasia Scott finished with 10 digs for the Sharks, who had three players with seven kills apiece 

First Set: SHU 25, LIU 15

  • The Pioneers jumped out early, taking a 7-2 lead, with four early kills
  • SHU would not allow the Sharks closer than three the rest of the way, the last time at 8-5
  • The Pioneers scored eight of the next 10 points, including a block form Reghan Palanchi and Liisel Nelis to open a 16-7 advantage
  • SHU led by as many as 10 in the closing points, and Murawinski gave SHU the opening set with a kill

Second Set: SHU 25-19

  • LIU scored the first three points of the second-set and built an 11-7 advantage on a Miranda Strongman kill
  • Three consecutive errors brought the Pioneers within a point, 11-10
  • After kills from Kora Schaberl and Darragh Dixon made it 13-10, Makayla Dole and Reghan Palanchi blocked Fleur Wiersma
  • Wiersma had a kill on the next point, to give LIU a 14-12 advantage
  • Murawinski and Palanchi went back-to-back with kills to tie the match, and a Lillian Vargo ace gave the Pioneers a 15-14 lead at the media timeout
  • Out of the break, SHU scored three of four points, with two Dole kills, to open an 18-15 advantage
  • LIU earned three consecutive points to get within a point, 18-17, but were not able to draw even
  • Nelis gave SHU the 20th point and Ciszek and Scioletti combined on a block to make it 21-17
  • Another Nelis kill gave SHU the 22-17 edge, and forced a LIU timeout
  • Ciszek recorded two kills in the final four points of the set for the win

Third Set: SHU 25, LIU 31

  • LIU began with a run once again, opening a 7-4 lead and led by as many as five points, 11-6 after a Pioneer hitting error
  • Nelis started a 5-0 run with a kill, to draw the Pioneers even
  • The match was tied at 12-12 and 13-13
  • LIU scored the next two points, taking a 15-13 lead to the media timeout
  • The Sharks still held the two-point advantage at 16-14 on a Miranda Strongman kill
  • Palanchi started the Pioneers match winning run with a kill
  • That was followed by back-to-back kills from Ciszek, giving the Pioneers their first lead, 17-16
  • Wiersma tied the score for the Sharks, but Nelis sandwiched kills around a Ciszek kill to put SHU in front 20-17
  • After a timeout Ciszek and Scioletti combined for a block and the four-point edge
  • Ciszek fed Murawinski and Dole to give SHU match point
  • LIU fended off the first match-point, but Scioletti hammered home a Ciszek pass for the win
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