RMU sweeps SHU in first game at new recreation center



Photo credit: Katey Ladika

Shayla Morris and Shayla Morris

The Colonials (7-9) took down conference foe the Pioneers of Sacred Heart University (7-7) in the first game in the new recreational center at RMU. In the past the Colonials have struggled to triumph over the Pioneers, making the matchup even more alluring.

The first set started with a bang for Robert Morris, leaving them with a quick two-to-zero lead that quickly escalated into a battle between the two teams, trading points back and forth. Freshmen Maria Alfano, Emma Granger and Alyson Londot made an immediate impact in competing with Sacred Heart.

RMU started to capitalize on Sacred Heart’s mistakes, forcing a timeout called by Sacred Heart. SHU, however, not wanting to go down without a fight, rallied back to tie with RMU, forcing coach Dale Starr to call his first timeout.

The Colonials were able to come through with the winning score of 27-25, with senior Taylor Lord leading them to the set win.

The second set did not tell the same story for Robert Morris. Sacred Heart quickly took the lead and did not show any signs of letting it go.

Although, RMU wasn’t taking no for an answer, coming back to tie with the Pioneers 16-16, and again at 22, 23, 24 and finally RMU came back to get a second set win 26-24, leaving the Colonials up two sets to none.

In the third and final set of the night, Robert Morris really took over.

They started out early with an eight-point lead and continued to build on it through the rest of the set. During this set, not only did RMU come back to dominate, but it also seemed as though Sacred Heart had just given up.

Taylor Lord also had an amazing match; her leadership position clearly shined in the match. Lord also had the match point in the third and final set, sweeping Sacred Heart University. This is the first match and win in the new recreational center.

“They (Sacred Heart) won our conference last year, so it sends a big message to everyone else. We were picked to be fifth (in NEC rankings), and we just took down the number two team. That sends a big message to everyone else and definitely boosts our confidence,” Taylor Lord said.

Lord has also seemed to have been struggling throughout this season, and today showed signs of coming back and feeling the leadership role that Coach Starr is looking toward his upperclassmen to fill.

“It feels good. I’ve haven’t played a whole lot this season, but it feels good, and hopefully I can keep it up,” Lord said.

Freshman Emma Granger has been constantly impressing as a rookie for this Colonials team, and tonight was no exception. Granger had a monumental defensive game tonight with blocks.

“It’s a lot of fun, I actually looked at Taylor (Lord) at the end of the game, and I was like, ‘I think this is the first time we have more blocks than aces. I’ve been struggling a lot with blocking so for me and Maria (Alfano), just everyone, me and the middles, the right sides and the outsides, for all of us to finally get some blocks it feels really good,” Granger said.

Lord is prepared for whoever the Colonials play.

“Just focus on our game. It doesn’t matter who’s on the other side of the net. Whether it’s the number one team or the very last team; it’s all about how we play,” said Lord.

“It was a lot of fun. It’s a lot different from Sewall, but it’s a really fun environment,” Granger said.

Robert Morris has another matchup Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. against the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights.