Hazleton, Pa. - The Lady Lions (5-11, 3-7 PSUAC) played host on Saturday to Penn State University Athletic Conference opponent Penn State Mont Alto (13-3, 9-3 PSUAC) as well as the United States Collegiate Athletic Association's SUNY Delhi (8-15) for their first multi-team home event of the season. Hazleton ran into trouble against Mont Alto in the day's first event, struggling to pass off the strong service game and power hitting from the southern Pennsylvania campus. Hazleton was out-hit in the match 32-3 in kills and allowed 20 service aces to the fourth ranked team in the PSUAC, falling in straight sets three games to none. Hazleton looked on as Mont Alto defeated SUNY-Delhi until it was their turn to take on the Broncos in the day's final match. The Lady Lions excelled in set one to take the lead in the match, but the Broncos found their attack game after the first intermission, swinging their way to victory by nabbing the next three sets to issue Hazleton their second loss on the afternoon by a final score of 3-1.
Match 1: Penn State Mont Alto 3, Penn State Hazleton 0
Set one went back and forth early and the Lady Lions briefly held a 13-12 advantage over Mont Alto midway through the set. But the visitors rallied to score 13 of the 16 awarded points in what was the first of several long scoring runs by Mont Alto in the match. Mont Alto controlled the tempo in set two, slowly building up a 14-7 lead as Hazleton struggled to get the offense going. The Lions made a 6-3 run to tighten the match before Mont Alto's Alyssa Booth served for the final seven points of the match, reeling off four straight aces to capture the set 25-13.
Hazleton would hold a 8-6 lead over Mont Alto as the third frame began, but once Booth returned to the service line, momentum swung back to the visitors. This time Booth swung for seven aces as Mont Alto ran away with the final set, streaking for 16 straight points only to be driven off the line by a service error. With the score 23-8, Mont Alto only needed to hold on as the teams traded points to the match's conclusion, a 25-10 final set win and 3-0 sweep for the visitors.
Booth racked up 11 of Mont Alto's 20 service aces and added six digs in the win. Abby Herring led the hitting attack with nine kills followed by Alexi Booth's eight kills and team high 10 digs. Teammate Katie Muse supplied the passing, leading the team with 26 assists in the win.
In a tough offensive outing for the Lady Lions, sophomore Hailey Trasacco (Hamden, Ct.) led the squad with two kills while freshman Nicole Barnes (Susquehanna, Pa.) and Jena Koppenhaver (Myerstown, Pa.) led the team defensively with nine digs each.
Match 2: SUNY Delhi 3, Penn State Hazleton 1
Hazleton's defensive presence dominated set one as the Lady Lions pulled out a near wire to wire victory to take the early lead in the match. The Lady Lions were out-hit 10-5 by SUNY Delhi in kills but constantly forced Bronco attacks wide and long of the boundary with their challenges at the net. Unfortunately for the Lions, that success would be short-lived as the Broncos found their stride in set two. Julia Bretts led the attack effort for the Broncos with five kills in the early stages of play as Delhi opened up a commanding 14-2 lead over the Lady Lions and cruised to a 25-12 win to tie the match at one set a piece.
Set three was no different as the Bronco attack strengthened behind their tall front line players. Once again Delhi opened up a significant advantage early on to the tune of 9-1, forcing Hazleton to play catch up, but Bretts and company continued to wreak havoc at the net running away with the frame 25-11. The fourth set saw a Lady Lions squad rally to keep the match close midway through the stanza, but a string of hitting errors ballooned a one point lead for Delhi into a six point advantage at 18-12. Delhi would go on to win seven of the next 11 points to defeat Hazleton 25-17, sweeping the final three sets to win the match 3-1.
Bretts led all hitters in the match with 17 kills on 45 attacks followed by Kristen Maslanka who also reached double figures with 11 kills, adding a team high 19 digs defensively. Alyssa Boyles dished out a game high 34 assists and five aces in the winning effort.
Senior Tina Beiland (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Nicole Barnes led the Lady Lions with three kills each to go along with 13 digs, matching a team high with freshman Shyan Cousins (Mt. Vernon, Ny.) defensively. Senior Miranda Dunne (Montrose, Pa.) totaled eight assists, two kills and nine digs respectively to round out the top efforts in Hazleton's 3-1 defeat.
Hazleton takes the court on Monday, October 10 at 7:00 p.m. when they take on USCAA opponent Penn College. Join us for senior night as we honor captains Miranda Dunne and Tina Beiland for their outstanding four year careers with the Lady Lions.