Senior middle Shaun Mansour and Jones led the Crimson defense, both running far out of bounds every series to get loose balls.
“We always play hard,” Baise said. “These guys, they want it so badly. [The effort] is never an issue.”
The Pioneers stepped up their offense in response to Harvard’s hustle, scoring three straight points to tie the game at 12-all.
The Crimson hitters could not adjust to the Sacred Heart blocking, and the Pioneers once again used a combination of strong serves and front-row defense to regain a 16-13 lead, forcing a Harvard timeout.
Coming out of the timeout, the Crimson regained the momentum off a tremendous rally and rallied within one, but a late service error gave Sacred Heart a 22-20 lead.
A kill by the Crimson made it 22-21, but the Pioneers responded with a kill of their own to keep the two-point lead. A controversial line call gave Sacred Heart game point, and the Pioneers took the game—and the match—on a kill.
“We just got to get in practice and serve and pass a lot,” Jones said. “I thought we worked on it a lot during the weekend, but we just need to work on it some more.”
—Staff writer James Yu can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.