Hazleton, Pa. - The Hazleton Nittany Lion Volleyball squad moved to 8-3 in conference play following their 3-0 win over Lehigh Valley at home on Monday night. Both squads dawned pink outfits during the pre-game session in support of breast cancer awareness month. Special guest, Associate Professor of Kinesiology, Health and Human Development, Karen Stylianides kicked off the event with an important message about breast cancer for students and fans in attendance and the Nittany Lions raised money throughout the night in support of cancer research.
As play began on Monday, Hazleton pulled ahead early in set one behind six early service aces. The Lions tacked on nine kills in the stanza including three each for first-year Nora Jones (Effort, Pa.) and third-year Rebecca Dzuranin (Pottsville, Pa.) to win the opening set 25-8. Lehigh Valley bounced back in set two to make this a close match. The visitors led 14-10 midway through the frame until three kills from second-year player Charlotte Vinson (Cherryville, Pa.) flipped the set in Hazleton's favor. Hazleton scored eight of the final 10 points in the second set to pull ahead for a 25-19 win heading into the closing frame. There, third-year player Kaya Nothstein (Palmerton, Pa.) served for eight straight points for the Nittany Lions, helping the squad pull ahead to a comfortable 12-3 advantage. Lehigh Valley bounced back with a five point run of their own, but Hazleton responded with another eight point run that saw three service aces from Jones and a pair of kills from Vinson that all but closed out the match. The Lions went on to win 25-13 in set three, capturing the win in straight sets for the second time this season over Lehigh Valley.
Leading the way was Jones who totaled nine kills and seven aces in the win. Vinson and Dzuranin netted eight kills each in the win while first-year setter Sophia Del Vacchio led all players on the night with 25 assists. Hazleton will look to sure up the number two seed in the PSUAC postseason with a win on Saturday when the Lions host Penn State Schuylkill in the regular season finale.