Allentown, Pa. - The Lady Lions fell to 0-2 in Penn State University Athletic Conference play following Monday's road loss to Penn State Lehigh Valley. After falling behind 2-0 in the match by scores of 26-24 and 25-18, Hazleton rallied to force a fourth frame but fell in the final stanza 25-22.
Both teams were evenly matched and in showed throughout the flow of the game. Hazleton held a lead for much of the first set and had set-point on Lehigh Valley to start off the match but Lehigh Valley stormed back to score six straight and take the lead in the match.
For the most part, Hazleton would trail Lehigh Valley for the next two sets until Hazleton faced match point in the third frame. The Lions trailed Lehigh Valley 24-20 and behind the serve of sophomore Alessandra Banta (Coatesville, Pa.), Hazleton rallied to score the next four points, tie the match and force extra points. Lehigh Valley would stop the bleeding but the Lions grabbed the late lead and secured a fourth set after a tipped ball trickled over the net to give Hazleton a 27-25 win and cut the lead to 2-1 in favor of Lehigh Valley.
Set four started out in well for the Lions who led by as many as five points in the early stages of play. As the game went on, multiple ties and lead changes ensued until Lehigh Valley surged ahead in the latter points to claim the match with a 25-22 win in set four.
Despite some struggles defensively at times it was a well played match for Hazleton. Junior Abby Bessoir (Dunmore, Pa.) was back in double figures in the kill department, totaling a season high 15 kills. Also picking up season highs were Banta with 19 assists and freshman RosaLydia Caputo (Howard Beach, Ny.) whose dynamic play at the net registered five blocked shots.
Next up: The Lady Lions are back on their home court on Wednesday, September 18 when they host Penn State York at 7:00 p.m.