Hazleton, Pa. - Penn State Hazleton honored senior captains Tina Beiland (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Miranda Dunne (Montrose, Pa.) prior to Monday's contest as the duo's four year careers near their end with just three dates left on the schedule. Accompanied by friends, family and a mass of fans, the senior duo took the court for their final single match home event against the NCAA-3 Penn College Wildcats. But as the festivities concluded, the Wildcats were all business. Penn College held the Hazleton offense to no more than 15 points per set, consistently digging out the Hazleton attack effort and converting defense to offense to knock off the Lady Lions three sets to none.
Both teams went back an forth to start off play until the Wildcat attack heated up behind the hitting of Breana Hayward and a strong service game from Felicia Webber. The pair combined for three kills and two service aces, part of 7-1 run by the Wildcats that helped build a 19-10 advantage over the Lady Lions. Hayward would finish the game with five kills in the set as Penn College handed the Lions a set one loss 25-14.
Hazleton reeled off a four point run of their own capped by a kill from Beiland, but again the duo of Hayward and Webber turned the tables on Hazleton with two separate 6-0 runs from the pair behind the service line. Hazleton took advantage of several miscues by the Wildcats, cutting the spread to four points at 16-12, but a 9-3 run by Penn College finished off the Lions, leaving the squad trailing two sets to none.
Facing elimination, the Lady Lions stepped up their game in the third frame as freshman Nicole Barnes (Susquehanna, Pa.) led a 6-0 charge behind the service line to put Hazleton on top 10-5. But the Wildcats responded with a ten point run from the service attack by libero Kaitlyn Young made the difference in the final set as Penn College regained momentum, running away with the final set 25-15.
Breana Hayward led all hitters with 13 kills on the nigh, adding two service aces in the win. Lauren Slater passed for 25 assists while teammate Felicia Webber added a team high five aces to go along with five kills.
Hazleton was led by Beiland who notched three kills and seven digs to lead the Lady Lions, while Nicole Barnes added a kill and team high 11 digs respectively.
Hazleton heads into the final leg of the regular season with five matches to play in the Penn State University Athletic Conference. Hazleton next takes the court on Thursday, October 13 when they travel to Cedar Crest College to take on Penn State Lehigh Valley.