Volleyball falls to host Sacred Heart, 3-1
Freshman middle blocker Alyssa Robertson finished with a match-high 10 kills, a .421 (10-2-19) hitting percentage and eight blocks but the JU volleyball team lost momentum in the third en route to a 3-1 (16-25, 25-17, 26-28, 20-25), Saturday morning in the Sacred Heart University Tournament at the Pitt Center.

JU (1-5) hit a match-high .138 in the contest and finished with a match-high 17 blocks but could not overcome 23 serve-receive errors (12 serving, 11 receiving).

SH (2-3) gutted its way through a win in the extended third set before finishing with a team-high .273 hitting percentage in the fourth frame.

“Serve/receive is vital to our success and we had problems,” said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. “The first pass is vital to our offense and we are not going to win many matches when we give away 12 points on serves alone.”

Along with Robertson, senior outside hitter Brittany Lehman finished with nine kills while junior outside hitter Kathryn Kane chipped in with eight kills. Freshman outside hitter Taylor Nyquist led the defense with 24 digs while senior defensive specialist Hannah Munneke added 11 digs. Senior outside hitter Aidan Yeager also contributed six kills and seven blocks.

Ashlyn Trimble led the Pioneers with 10 kills, 15 digs, seven service aces and two blocks. Jessica Colberg led the defense with 17 digs while Christina Bauch (12 digs) and Dianis Mercado (10 digs) also contributed on the back line.

In the first set, both teams went through three ties until the Pioneers used a 4-0 run, fueled by three aces by Trimble), to take a 10-6 lead. JU would answer right back with a 4-0 run of its own to tie the score again, 10-10, on a block by Yeager and freshman middle blocker Kylie Jacob. SHU would counter with a 10-1 run to make it 20-11 on a kill by Johanna Ovsenek. Both teams would trade points the rest of the way until a kill by Tremble gave the Pioneers a 1-0 lead.

In the second frame, JU jumped out to a 5-1 lead on a kill by Yeager and then increase the mark to 10-5 on a kill by freshman setter Kendall Courtney. The Dolphins pushed the margin to 16-7 with a kill by Lehman. Both teams would trade point the remainder of the set until a kill by Robertson evened the match, 1-1.

In the third set, both teams would go through 10 ties and five lead changes with the last tie coming at 26-26 with a service error by the Dolphins. SHU would take advantage of the mistake by getting a block by Elise Sage and C Kidd-Kadlubek before an attack error by JU gave the Pioneers a 2-1 advantage.

In the final frame, JU got out of the gates quickly to build a 9-2 on a service ace by Robertson. The Pioneers would battle their way back to a 14-14 tie after a kill by Bauch and then used a 4-0 run to open up an 18-14 advantage. The Dolphins would get no closer than two points (20-18) the rest of the way as a kill by Maile Hetherington ended the match.