Hazleton knocks off Scranton, 3-1, for second straight win

Cheyenne Comfort preps for a serve.
Cheyenne Comfort preps for a serve.

HAZLETON, Pa. - Penn State Hazleton held off Penn State Scranton, 3-1 (16-25, 27-25, 25-17, 25-22), on Thursday night in a PSUAC women's volleyball game in the Dr. Thomas Caccese Gymnasium. Hazleton (4-16, 4-10 PSUAC) wins their second match in a row, only two days after knocking off Penn State Schuylkill.

Hazleton was led by sophomore Cheyenne Comfort (Landover, Md.) who tallied eight kills and 13 digs for the Lady Lions. Junior setter Miranda Dunne (Montrose, Pa.) dished out 15 assists despite her team's negative hitting percentage. 

Neither team was strong on the attack, as Hazleton hit -.090, just slightly worse than their visitors, who managed to hit -.052. Much of the difficulty was due to some great defense, including 21 digs from senior Nieves Alonzo (Hazleton, Pa.). Alonzo also recorded three aces, tying teammate Tina Beiland (Philadelphia, Pa.) for the match-high.

The first set went back and forth until Scranton pulled away midway through the set. The Lions added to their 14-11 advantage with a 3-0 run, and despite a 5-1 Hazleton spurt to bring them within two, Scranton put together a string of seven straight points to close out the set with a 1-0 lead.

Set two was playing out the same way, as Scranton built a 15-10 lead. Hazleton clawed back to tie the set at 19-19 behind two kills from Comfort, and kills from Dunne and freshman Hailey Trasacco (Hamden, Ct.). The match went back and forth before Hazleton rallied for a late lead and eventual win to knot the match at one set apiece.

Hazleton jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in set three, quickly turning that into a 9-3 advantage that included a kill from Alonzo. Scranton answered with a 10-5 run to get within one at 14-13, but six straight errors cost the visitors as Hazleton pulled away for a seven point lead. Beiland and Trasacco each added kills to go with a slew of Scranton errors for the 25-17 set win.

Scranton started strong in the fourth set, taking an 8-5 lead. Hazleton came back with an 8-2 run to take a 13-10 lead on the strength of Beiland and Comfort kills. Scranton tied the score at 13-13 with a 3-0 rally, but their momentum was stopped with a kill from Comfort and four straight errors. Leading 18-13, Hazleton gave back four straight points, and eventually found themselves tied 19-19. After trading points, Hazleton used three Scranton errors for a 23-20 advantage, and Beiland added a kill before a service error by Scranton ended the set and the match.

Next Up: Hazleton gets nearly a week off before traveling to Penn State Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday, Oct. 14 for a 7:00 p.m. match. The Lady Lions look to avenge an earlier season loss to the Lions back on Sep. 23, a 3-1 defeat at home.