Lions sweep their way to first win of 2018

Damaris Ayala sets a teammate.
Damaris Ayala sets a teammate.

Hazleton, Pa. - The Lady Lions served up a solid effort Thursday night as they cruised to a 3-0 sweep over Luzerne County Community College in the Dr. Thomas M. Caccese Gymnasium. Hazleton racked up 13 service aces on the evening and held the Trailblazers to a combined total of just 39 scores, making quick work of their opponent for their first win of the 2018 season. 

The Lady Lions trailed on just three occasions Thursday night, all of which coming early in each of the three sets. Hazleton roared out of the gates in set one, using runs of three or more points from four different servers to take the opening frame 25-9.

Luzerne mounted a brief rally midway through set two, knotting the score at 11-11 midway through the frame. But Hazleton handled the pressure with poise pushing through the dry spell and coming out on the other end with a pair of four point swings behind the serves of sophomores Samaya Hornsby (Richmond, Ca.) and Damaris Ayala (Berwick, Pa.), giving the Lady Lions an 18-12 edge. The Lions would hold onto that margin to take the set 25-18 and ultimately take advantage of 13 Trailblazer miscues to own a 2-0 lead over Luzerne.

Hazleton kicked off the third set with a 4-0 run behind the serve of senior Lauren Nietz (Coaldale, Pa.) and never looked back. Similar to the opening round, Hazleton opened up a large cushion with a trio of four point runs behind the service line, capped off by a five point run by Ayala to earn a 25-12 win in the final set, issuing Hazleton their first win of the season. 

In true team fashion, six Lady Lions registered three or more kills on the night, led by a four score night by senior Hailey Trasacco (Hamdem, Ct.). Ayala and freshman Alessandra Banta (Coatesville, Pa.) split the passing duties Thursday night with both teammates notching seven assists on the night while Nietz stymied the Trailblazer attack all evening, totaling a team high 14 digs.

Next Up: The Lady Lions find themselves on the road for their next two engagements. Hazleton will travel to the King's College in New York City on Sunday afternoon, facing the Lions at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, Ny. followed by a match in the nation's capitol on Tuesday afternoon at Trinity Washington University.