Volleyball tops Wilkes-Barre in back-and-forth conference opener

Volleyball tops Wilkes-Barre in back-and-forth conference opener

HAZLETON, Pa. - Penn State Hazleton bookended their match with solid play to oust visiting Penn State Wilkes-Barre, 3-2 (25-19, 25-13, 18-25, 17-25, 15-5) in a Penn State University Athletic Conference women's volleyball match on Tuesday night in the Dr. Thomas M. Caccese Gymnasium.

The Lady Lions (2-2, 1-0 PSUAC) pick up a win in their conference opener for the first time since 2012, and in the process knocked off a Wilkes-Barre team that swept Hazleton just a year ago. Hazleton took an early 2-0 set lead but couldn't put away the visitors as Wilkes-Barre battled back in the middle two sets to tie the score at 2-2. Hazleton used a strong final set to pull away and earn the victory.

Hazleton started the first two sets in similar fashion, jumping out to early leads. Hazleton went up early in the first set, but a 4-0 run by Wilkes-Barre made it 4-2. The match would see three ties over the next eight points before Hazleton used a 6-0 run to grab a 13-7 advantage. Wilkes-Barre would eventually cut the lead to two at 17-15, but another run by Hazleton made it 21-15. Wilkes-Barre used their own 4-0 run to get back in it, but freshman Rachel Wall (Norfolk, Va.) added a kill and service ace to kill the Lions momentum and put Hazleton up four again. Two Wilkes-Barre errors led to the final as Hazleton led 1-0.

Set two saw an even better start for Hazleton as they jumped out to a 7-1 lead behind strong serves from senior Miranda Dunne (Montrose, Pa.) and freshman Shyan Cousins (Mount Vernon, NY). Hazleton would extend their lead to 20-10 before scoring five of the final eight points to take a 2-0 set lead. Wilkes-Barre battled back in the middle sets to even the score at two sets apiece. 

Dunne started with serves for the first four points of the final set, and Hazleton ultimately grabbed a 4-0 lead before relinquishing three straight Wilkes-Barre points. Hazleton would go on a 6-0 run, powered by a kill from sophomore Hailey Trasacco (Hamden, Ct.) to make it 10-3. Wilkes-Barre could only cut into the momentum for a point before the Lady Lions rattled five of the final six points for the 15-5 set win, and the match.

Top Performers

Hazleton was led by Cousins with six kills while Trasacco added four. Senior Tina Beiland (Philadelphia, Pa.) dished out 10 assists while Dunne added six to go along with a team-high 11 digs. Wall added six service aces and two solo blocks, both a match-best.

Dunne and freshman Nicole Barnes (Susquehanna, Pa.) each added three kills for Hazleton who registered a season-high 20 kills.

Samantha Corsello led Wilkes-Barre with seven kills and five service aces. Emily Garrity added a match-high 13 digs. 

Next Up

Hazleton heads back into non-conference action when they host Central Penn College on Thursday, September 15th at 6:00 p.m. in the Dr. Thomas M. Caccese Gymnasium. Central Penn won the only meeting between the teams last year.