FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Saint Francis men's volleyball team fought off Sacred Heart for a four-set victory in EIVA action on Saturday night at the William H. Pitt Center. The Flash won 25-21, 23-25, 25-23 and 25-22.
With the victory, Saint Francis improves to 8-4 in conference play, while Sacred Heart falls to 6-6 in the EIVA. Saturday's victory marked the first time Saint Francis defeated Harvard and Sacred Heart on the road.
Jeff Hogan (Northern Cambria, Pa./Northern Cambria) led the Flash with 18 kills to go along with four blocks and finished with a .353 hitting clip. Gabe Woffindin (Allentown, Pa./William Allen) contributed with 12 digs and Daniel Ford (Newtown, Pa./Council Rock North) dished out 46 assists. Michael Fisher (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley (Pepperdine)) collected 14 kills, 10 digs and two service aces. Tony Nicotra (Allison Park, Pa./Deer Lakes) recorded four blocks and Stephen Braswell (Manchester, Pa./Northeastern) added three service aces. Christopher DeLucie led Sacred Heart with 15 kills.
Back-to-back Braswell service aces forced Sacred Heart to call a timeout, with Saint Francis leading 7-2 in the opening set. The Pioneers started to chip away running off four straight points to cut Saint Francis' lead to 13-10. Saint Francis continued to pull away, but Sacred Heart rallied to make it a two-point set, 23-21. A Pioneer attack error gave the Flash the opening set 25-21.
A kill from Fisher and a Ford service ace helped the Flash to a 4-2 lead in the second set. With the Flash holding a commanding 12-6 advantage, the Pioneers scored seven of the next nine points to make it 14-13. A 3-0 Sacred Heart run gave SHU a 16-15 lead. Kills from Fisher and Hogan maintained the Flash advantage at 20-18. Both teams traded points until Sacred Heart scored the last two points to take the set 25-23.
The third set was back and forth, neither team gaining a big lead. After multiple ties, Sacred Heart got back on top, making it 15-13. The Pioneers were able to break away, going on a 4-0 run to go up by four, 19-15. However, Saint Francis fought back, putting together four straight to tie the set at 19-all. A Keith Kegerreis (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg) kill completed the Saint Francis comeback, 25-23.
Hogan got going in the fourth set. He notched four kills in the first seven Saint Francis points to tie the set at 7-7. The Flash turned an 8-10 deficit into a 13-10 lead, and forced Sacred Heart to call a timeout. A Hogan kill kept the Flash up 18-16, but the Pioneers rallied back tie the set at 19-19. A Sacred Heart attack error ended the set 25-22 and completed the four-set victory.
Saint Francis hosts George Mason next Friday at 7 p.m. and Charleston on Saturday at 4 p.m. to close out the regular season.