By William Callahan
It was only a matter of time for Sarah Krufka, a senior Division I volleyball captain and record breaker.
Krufka has eclipsed previous record holder Tricia Moore’s school record of 1,447 kills. Krufka now stands alone with 1,453 kills, and counting.
“I really didn’t think it was a possible goal until last year,” said Krufka. “My dad and I sat down and tallied up how many kills I got and we figured out how much I needed for this year, so it’s been in the back of my head all year long.”
Success and setting records are nothing new to Krufka, as she has emerged as one of the best players and leaders on the team.
“Sarah is a very dominant offensive player,” said head coach Rob Machan. “Other teams almost always focus their defense specifically on her but she still manages to put up incredible numbers.”
The opportunity to break records did not hinder the focus of Krufka.
“Even with all the attention on her this season in her pursuit to break the record, she continues to excel,” said Machan. “That also opens up other areas on the court for other players to make an impact.”
Krufka’s record chasing season has not slowed down the team as they have stormed to a 12-1 conference record, with their only loss occurring against Central Connecticut State. Overall, the team is 21-7 on the year so far.
“A lot of not only my success, but the team’s success, is due to everyone on the team,” said Krufka. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of my teammates.”
Two of Krufka’s most important teammates who aided in her accomplishment are redshirt junior Kiki Robinson and senior Ana Gonzalez. Robinson plays setter and Gonzalez is the libero.
“Watching Sarah get the record was definitely cool for us to watch and be a part of,” said Robinson. “She’s worked extremely hard over the past four years to get to where she is.”
She’s going to be very important for us in order to win the NEC tournament this year for sure,” said Gonzalez. “Each year she always puts us in a position to win.”
In her freshman campaign, Krufka was named NEC Rookie of the Year in 2013-14, as she finished with 323 kills in 31 matches, good for seventh in the conference. She improved in her sophomore season finishing with 347 kills, good for third in the NEC.
Krufka’s junior season is her best one to date as she was last season’s NEC Player of the Year. She led the conference in kills with 466 and led the Pioneers to the NEC Tournament.
“There are so many reasons why Sarah is a great player,” said Machan. “She has a great attitude, she’s team-first and has tremendous foot speed for a right side hitter, along with great arm speed allowing her to hit the ball hard.”
With the record now intact, Krufka and the rest of the team are focused on winning the NEC tournament.
“It’s definitely a weight off my shoulders because now I can focus on playing my game,” said Krufka.
The women’s volleyball team’s last regular season game was on Nov. 13 in a rematch against Central Connecticut State. Sacred Heart won the match 3-2.
“I feel really confident in these next two weeks that we’re going to play really well,” said Gonzalez.
The women’s volleyball team will begin the first round of the NCAA tournament on Dec. 1.