Media, Pa. - The Lady Lions (3-5, 1-0 PSUAC) headed south to Penn State Brandywine on Saturday where they squared off with Penn State Schuylkill before taking on the home team Brandywine. Hazleton's effort led to a nail biting five set contest with Schuylkill with the Lions coming up short of their second straight Penn State University Athletic Conference victory in the extra set. After falling to Schuylkill 3-2, the Lions were outmatched in the second game of the afternoon, falling to the defending champions in Penn State Brandywine in straight sets, 3-0.
Match 1: Penn State Schuylkill 3, Penn State Hazleton 2 (26-24, 14-25, 18-25, 25-17, 15-10)
For their second straight PSUAC contest, the Lady Lions go five sets with their opponents, but unlike the earlier win against Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton winds up on the other end of the coin in Saturday's match. Hazleton had the edge defensively, keeping the ball alive against a potent Schuylkill front line and allowing senior Miranda Dunne (Montrose, Pa.) to set up Hazleton's outside hitters, but Schuylkill's hitters eventually wore down Hazleton to claim the five set victory.
Set one was evenly matched and went to extra points but it would be Schuylkill who nabbed the early lead in the match. Hazleton responded the following two sets behind the strong swings from senior Tina Beiland (Philadelphia, Pa.) and freshman Nicole Barnes (Susquehanna, Pa.) winning the sets in convincing fashion by a combined 18 points. But Hazleton was unable to carry that momentum to a winning conclusion, losing set four and the subsequent tie-breaker set.
Schuylkill hitters were active all day, registering 79 attacks against Hazleton with 53 finding the court for kills. Hayley Wolff led all attackers with 19 kills followed by Alyssa Hatter and Alexis Bowser with 13 and 11 kills respectively. Marla Stoner's crisp passing led to 42 assists in the winning effort.
Hazleton was led Barnes who notched seven kills, four service aces and a team high 15 kills. Hard serving Tina Beiland finished the match with six aces, six kills and five assists while Miranda Dunne ended the contest with a team high 12 assists. Collectively, Hazleton accumulated 57 digs including 15 from freshman Shyan Cousins (Mt. Vernon, Ny.) and 12 from freshman Jena Koppenhaver (Myerstown, Pa.).
Match 2: Penn State Brandywine 3, Penn State Hazleton 0 (25-10, 25-16, 25-6)
Following the draining five set match, the Lady Lions ran into the PSUAC defending champions in Penn State Brandywine. Brandywine dominated the early play in set one, opening up a 13 point advantage midway through the set and unlike in the first match of the day, the Lions were unable to dig out balls and extend plays. Hazleton went point for point with Brandywine in set two but with the set tied at 8-8, Brandywine's offense went on a 17-7 run to close out the frame. Brandywine carried that momentum into the final set, shutting out the Lions through the first 14 points of the set and cruising to the finish line to earn the victory and remain unbeaten in conference play.
Brandywine was led by Nikkie Poissant who racked up 10 service aces and eight kills, both team highs. Nicolette Napoleon and Rikelle Taylor also earned eight kills a piece in the win while setter Sullivan Stark dished out 31 assists.
Hazleton just nine kills in match number two, with Cousins, Barnes and Beiland each registering two scores a piece.
Hazleton continues its road trip completing a four match weekend in the PSUAC. The Lions next travel to Penn State Mont Alto on Sunday where they'll face the host team followed by a rescheduled contest with Lehigh Valley.