Providence vs. Sacred Heart Partial Report. Game 1
I only had the opportunity to watch one game of this match but I will report on what I saw. As usual I apologize for not being able to cover the defensive side very much, nor the assists going on, it’s very hard to write down the action or follow it that quickly, and I don’t exactly have an instant replay to review, but trust me there are a variety of quality assists and defensive plays going on in each match I attend. The last match of the Sacred Heart Invitational would feature the Providence Friars and the home Sacred Heart Pioneers. Sacred Heart had lost their first match of the day to UMES as Providence had watched them from the stands. Providence picked up a win over St. Francis and was going into their second straight match. The Friars had beaten the Pioneers the week before on their home turf in Providence, but now the two teams were set to meet again.
Sacred Heart opened up the scoring when Kendra Sloan spiked a ball which skimmed off of the defense for point number one. Providence suffered a two hit error to give up point number two right afterward. Courtney Kidd-Kadlubek’s bounced off the D and out of bounds for the ace and a third SHU point. Alex Bavasi spiked the ball of the defense to the floor to make it 4-0. The Pioneers finally surrendered a point when they knocked the ball out of bounds to make it 4-1. A big rally ensued filled with blocks until PC spiked a ball over the net and out of bounds to bring it to 5-1. Mydori Saipale’s spike was blocked by the Friars, but they blocked it out of bounds and the kill and point went to SHU.
Providence’s Sarah Fleming scored the first kill for her team when she hit a ball over that the D knocked out of bounds and the score was 6-2. Sacred Heart’s Sloan hit it over, only to have it blocked, but she returned it right back, and PC couldn’t do the same to make it 7-2. Saipale spiked it in on the next rally, but the Friars returned it. She then dropped the ball in and PC hit it into the net to make it 8-2. Providence scored another point when their spike was hit out of bounds by the Pioneers on the next play to make it 8-3. Number 10 Jeanette Toney tapped a ball over the net and in for a fourth Providence point after that, but Annie Archer, who wore the same number for Sacred Heart, tapped a ball with her left hand sideways over the net for the point on the next rally and it was 9-4. Fleming responded when she smashed a spike right to the SHU left corner to bring the score to 9-5. Archer however hit a spike over and the Providence block deflected the ball out of bounds and it was 10-5. Toney and Sarah Sheehan came up with a block on the next play to keep the Friars within four, and a Pioneer four hit error put them within three. Archer smashed a huge spike in though to return the SHU lead to four as it was 11-7. The Pioneers served into the net to return the ball to PC’s side and give the Friars a point. PC would benefit from SHU hitting the ball out of bounds after that as well.
Sacred Heart’s Christine Duffy got in on the scoring when she spiked it to the PC left corner and it was 12-9. It would be 13-9 after PC Hit a ball out of bounds, but the Friars got to 10 points when SHU served out of bounds. Sacred Heart made a desperate defensive save during the next rally which unfortunately carried out of bounds, and they would knock yet another ball out of bounds to bring the score to 13-12. Providence would serve into the net to extend SHU’s lead to 2 again. Bavasi than spiked a shot in and the Friars bobbled the block to bring it to 15-12. At this point, Providence big hitter Elizabeth Flynn smashed a spike off the defense for what I believe was her first kill of the match. Toney and Fleming combined on another block to bring PC within 1. A pair of SHU points would follow though, but the Pioneers attempt to tap a ball in failed and it was 17-15. Toney would then spike into a gap in the defense, but Sloan responded with a spike into PC’s gap on the next rally. SHU would commit a 2 hit error and it was 18-17, but a huge Pioneer spike would extend the lead to 2 again and lead to a time out. When play resumed Toney hit a huge smash from the net to a gap in the defense. With it 19-18, the Friars would block a ball out of bounds, but follow with a knock into a gap to stay within 1. When SHU hit a ball out of bounds the score was tied at 20 and a time out was called.
When the game started up again Flynn came up with another spike to give PC a lead, though Kidd-Kadlubek responded with an untouched spike into a gap in the PC right defense, to tie it back it up and a PC knock out of bounds gave the lead back to the Pioneers. Flynn however tied it back up with a tap to the floor. PC committed an error and it was 23-22, but SHU hit a ball out of bounds and it was tied yet again. Saipale regained the lead for the Pioneers when her spiked bounced off the D, flew out of bounds and was set into the air by Providence coach Margot Royer. PC would pick up a point on the following play though, and another when SHU hit it out of bounds. A Pioneer defensive fumble would give PC a two point lead. Not surprisingly a time out was called.
Following the T.O. Sloan spiked a ball and the blockers hit it out of bounds. Kidd-Kadlubek hit a ball over the PC front line to the floor to tie the game back up at 26. Another time out was called and when the teams returned to the court Fleming came up with a huge smash to the corner for Providence to make it 26-27, but Saipale tied it back up when her spike was returned by the D out of bounds. Saipale then served the ball over, and the Providence D hit it onto the scorer’s table. The Friars hit a ball into the net to give SHU a 29-27 lead and Kidd-Kadlubek would end the game with a block for SHU’s 30th point.
According to the Pioneers website, SHU would go on to take the next two games though the 2nd game was 32-30, and the third 30-25, both very close affairs it would seem.
(Based on my eyewitness account, though I do check official websites for some fact checking.)