Volleyball Sweeps NJIT In Home Opener

Reghan Palanchi (Credit: Steve McLaughlin)
Reghan Palanchi (Credit: Steve McLaughlin)


The Sacred Heart University women's volleyball team opened the home portion of its schedule with a 3-0 win over visiting NJIT. The victory improved the Pioneers to 3-4 on the season, while the Highlanders fell to 1-8.

Reghan Palanchi paced the Pioneers with nine kills and hitting .615 on the night. The Pioneers controlled play, never trailing or being tied in the second set. The Pioneers largest deficit was two points in the third.

The Pioneers host Northeastern, 11 a.m., and Fairfield, 6 p.m. on Saturday to conclude the tournament.

How it Happened

  • The Pioneers trailed once in the first set and never by more than two in the third set
  • SHU held NJIT to -.034 hitting in winning the second set, 25-17

SHU Turning Point

  • The Pioneers trailed 24-23 in the third set, before scoring the next three points, to win the set and match

By the Numbers

  • Sarah Ciszek finished with seven kills, hitting .462, handed out 22 assists and recorded nine digs
  • Seven Pioneers had multiple kills in the match, with five reaching five or more
  • NJIT totaled nine blocks, with six from Courtney Branch and five by Sarah Merritt
  • Makayla Dole and Jillian Kim both recorded six kills, while Liisel Nelis had five
  • Gianna Scioletti had three blocks for the Pioneers
  • Kim, Ciszek, Smallcomb and Bykowski each had two service aces

First Set – SHU 25, NJIT 22

  • The Pioneers jumped out to a 2-0 lead, before NJIT scored six of the next nine points to take a 6-5 advantage
  • Scioletti and Nelis answered with back-to-back kills for the start of a three-point run for an 8-6 advantage
  • Nelis scored a kill by knocking the ball off a blocker and followed that with an ace to put the Pioneers up by three, 11-8
  • After back-to-back NJIT points, including an ace from Sarah Merritt, Jillian Kim converted back-to-back kills for the 13-10 lead and forced a Highlander timeout
  • Courtney Branch scored out of the timeout and the Pioneer advantage alternated between two and three points through 16-14
  • An error from SHU got NJIT within a point, but the Highlanders gave it back with a service error on the next service
  • Ciszek followed with an ace to push the lead to 18-15
  • After a service error Courtney Branch and Merritt combined for a block to make it 18-17
  • A service error by NJIT was followed by a Highlander block and a SHU hitting error, knotting the set, 19-19
  • Back-to-back services resulted in a kill by Scioletti and an ace, putting SHU up 22-20 and forcing NJIT to take its second timeout
  • Dole hammered an overpass to the ground for a 23-20 edge, before a service error ended the Pioneer run at four
  • NJIT converted an overpass to a point to close within 23-22
  • A service error and a hitting error gave SHU the 25-22 set win

Second Set – SHU 25, NJIT 17

  • The Pioneers again opened with consecutive points, the second a Ciszek service ace
  • After NJIT closed within 3-2, a Scioletti kill jumpstarted a 10-1 run that included a pair of service aces from Kim and ended with the Pioneers leading 13-3
  • NJIT answered with three unanswered points, and four of five point
  • A Palanchi kill started a 3-0 run, capped by an Emma Smallcomb service ace and a 17-7 advantage
  • Five consecutive points for NJIT, with two Liz Benson service aces cut the deficit in half, 17-12
  • A Nelis kill stopped the run and was followed by a kill from Kim for a 19-12 lead
  • Susan Blake put the ball on the ground to get the Highlanders within four points, 21-17
  • Palanchi scored the next point for SHU and was followed by two hitting errors and a blocking error by NJIT to secure the 25-17 win 

Third Set – SHU 26, NJIT 24

  • A Ciszek kill and a combo block from Scioletti and Kim gave SHU its third 2-0 set lead of the evening
  • Ciszek won a contest at the net and followed with a quick attack to make it 6-4
  • Claudia Bykowski added an ace as she served three straight points to build the 9-4 edge
  • NJIT stormed back, with six of the next nine points, closing within a pair, 12-10
  • The sides traded points through 16-13, on a Ciszek kill
  • Madi Busler started a 5-0 run for NJIT, that led the Highlanders to their first lead since a 6-5 advantage in the first set, 18-16
  • A Merritt kill gave NJIT a 19-17 lead, before Kim and Palanchi kills made it 19-19
  • A SHU hitting error got NJIT to 20 first, and Branch and Merritt combined for a block to make the lead 21-19
  • Back-to-back Palanchi kills knotted the score 21-21, and after a SHU service error briefly put the Highlanders in front, Ciszek blocked Makayla Greenfield to tie the set once again, 22-22 
  • A Highlander attack error gave SHU the lead back, 23-22, and NJIT took its final timeout
  • Consecutive hitting errors by the Pioneers gave NJIT set point, and forced SHU to a timeout, 24-23
  • Juliana Impaglia served long to bring SHU even, 24-24, and then Ciszek collected an errant dig and put it down for the 26-24 Pioneer win
Volleyball Sweeps FDU
November 9, 2019 Volleyball Sweeps FDU
Volleyball Falls 3-1 To RMU
October 5, 2019 Volleyball Falls 3-1 To RMU