Wilkes-Barre, Pa. - The Lady Lions kicked off their season with a road trip to NCAA Division 3 Wilkes University for the team's first action under new head coach Tracy Biehl. Following a solid performance in an exhibition contest with nearby Lackawanna College, Hazleton fell to the veteran Colonel squad in three sets.
The Lady Lions opened up the first set with a 6-1 advantage over Wilkes U. but the Colonels rallied to knot the score and pull ahead of Hazleton midway through the first set, ultimately resulting in a 25-16 win to start the match. Hazleton was out-hit by Wilkes by just two kills in set one, but unfortunately that result was as close as the Lions would come in the match. Wilkes U. produced a powerful attack in sets two and three. Hazleton offered up a solid defense, notching 25 digs collectively against the Colonels, but the power arms of Wilkes continued to pound away, earning convincing set victories by scores of 25-7 and 25-3 to earn the match victory in a 3-0 sweep.
Senior Miranda Dunne (Montrose, Pa.) led Hazleton with two kills on seven attacks with a service ace and one assist, with freshman teammate Rachel Wall (Norfolk, Va.) adding two kills in her Lady Lion debut. Senior Tina Beiland (Philadelphia, Pa.) led the squad with four assists while freshman Nicole Barnes (Susquehanna, Pa.) and Shyan Cousins (Mount Vernon, Ny.) each pitching in seven digs a piece.
The Colonels were led by Michele Natale and Jamie Mikovich who each offered up six kills in the victory, while teammate Alexis Morgan dished out 16 assists and five services aces to lead the team.
Hazleton will return home to face their next opponent in Luzerne County Community College. The Lady Lions will take the court on September 6 at 7:00 p.m. in the Thomas M. Caccese Gymnasium.