WORCESTER, Mass. – Junior Dana Weston (Canton, Mass.) recorded a career-high seven blocks as the Holy Cross volleyball team was defeated by Sacred Heart, 3-0, on the first day of the Crusader Classic at the Holy Cross Field House on Friday, by scores of 25-15, 25-19 and 32-30. With the loss, the Crusaders start the season 0-1 overall, while the Pioneers advance to 1-1 overall as they lost to Stony Brook in the first match of the tournament. The Crusaders return to action in the Crusader Classic on Saturday, Aug. 31, with a 11:00 a.m. match versus Stony Brook and a 7:00 p.m. contest against Manhattan.
Freshman Mandy Sifferlen (Sudbury, Mass.) led the team with 10 kills, while classmate Natalie Welsch (Eden Prairie, Minn.) tallied six. Freshman Katie McKernan (Sylvania, Ohio) recorded a team-high 13 assists during the match. Junior Hannah Grace Stokes (Atlanta, Ga.) posted a team-leading six digs. Weston was a part of seven of the team's eight blocks and recorded the team's only solo-block.
The Pioneers were led by Kiki Robinson who posted 44 assists and seven kills with a .667 hitting percentage. Sarah Krufka and Dianis Mercado also posted 10 and 12 kills respectively for the Sacred Heart offense.
Down 2-0 entering the third set, the Crusaders rallied in the third keeping the score close from the beginning. After a Pioneer service error to put the Crusaders ahead 6-5, junior captain Alicia Swearingen (Springdale, Ark.) recorded two aces to bring the Crusaders ahead by three. Throughout the set neither team held more than a three-point advantage. After an attack error by Sacred Heart late in the set, Holy Cross trailed 24-23 and began its rally. McKernan served an ace to tie the game at 24 and the two teams began to battle to win the set. Holy Cross had two game point opportunities to win the set and force a fourth game in the match, but on a match point kill Sacred Heart took the final game 32-30.
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