Lady Lions drop Schuylkill, 3-1, for conference win

Hailey Trasacco serves.
Hailey Trasacco serves.

HAZLETON, Pa. - Penn State Hazleton used a comeback in the first set, and despite dropping the second, the Lions ran away with the final two sets for a 3-1 (25-21, 13-25, 25-21, 25-21) conference victory over visiting Penn State Schuylkill in the Dr. Thomas Caccese Gymnasium on Tuesday night.

A trio of Lady Lions led the way as junior Miranda Dunne (Montrose, Pa.) dished out 13 assists to go along with eight digs and two aces. Fellow junior Tina Beiland (Philadelphia, Pa.) added six kills and seven digs to go along with a team-high four aces, while freshmen Hailey Trasacco (Hamden, Ct.) had one of her best performances of the season with six kills and a match-high 12 digs. 

Hazleton (3-16, 2-10 PSUAC) fell behind early in the first set as Schuylkill took an 11-5 lead. A 9-3 Hazleton run brought the hosts within two before two more Schuylkill points made it 18-14. Hazleton then strung together an 11-3 run on the strength of service runs by sophomore Usgal Zandanbal (Ulaanbaatar, MNG) and Beiland to finish the comeback and take set one, 25-21.

Schuylkill dominated the second set despite falling behind 5-1 early. Hazleton led as late as 12-8 before Hayley Wolff served up nine straight points for the Lions after a Hazleton error to make it 18-12. Schuylkill finished on a 7-1 run to even the match at one set apiece.

Much like the match, the third set went back and forth early. The teams traded points and neither team could string together more than three points in a row as Hazleton led 10-9. A 5-0 Schuylkill spurt gave them a 14-10 advantage, but Hazleton climbed back into the set on the strength of Zandanbal service and a couple of Schuylkill miscues. The Lady Lions used a 15-7 run to finish the set, including four straight service points from Dunne. Sophomore Cheyenne Comfort (Landover, Md.) added a kill during the stretch, and despite three late points by Schuylkill the Lady Lions took a 2-1 set lead.

Hazleton jumped out early in set four, grabbing a quick 5-2 advantage behind kills from Beiland and Comfort to go along with three Schuylkill errors. The Lions would tie the match at 8-8 before Hazleton's 9-4 run made it 17-12. During that run, Dunne tallied two aces and Beiland added a kill to extend the lead. The advantage was enough to hold up the remainder of the set as Hazleton thwarted any chance of a comeback by limiting Schuylkill to no more than three points in a row. Leading 23-21, Hazleton benefitted from an attack error before Beiland's serve for the match never made its way back over the net. 

Next Up: Hazleton remains home as they play host to Penn State Worthington Scranton on Thursday, Oct. 8 at 7:00 p.m. in the Dr. Thomas Caccese Gymnasium. The Lady Lions look to avenge an earlier loss to Scranton, who defeated Hazleton 3-0 back on Sep. 16.