Hazleton tops Lehigh Valley in three sets

Hazleton tops Lehigh Valley in three sets

Hazleton, Pa. - The Lady Lions showed up on Sunday afternoon looking for their first win in Penn State University Athletic Conference play as they took on Penn State Lehigh Valley. Fans in the Dr. Thomas M. Cacesse Gymnasium were not disappointed as Hazleton made quick work of their opponents, winning in straight sets by scores of 25-10, 25-19, and 25-15. 

Hazleton's precision kept Lehigh Valley on the defensive for much of the day. The Lady Lions converted over one third of their attacks into kills and five service aces to complete a convincing opening set. Sophomore Samaya Hornsby (Richmond, Ca.) began the action with three of those aces, sparking a 9-0 run by Hazleton and the Lions never looked back, winning set one by a 15 point margin. 

Lehigh Valley's Ebony Sanders found her rhythm at the start of set two and put some pressure on Hazleton. Sanders notched three early kills that helped the visitors build a four point advantage but the Lady Lions would remain patient. Hazleton would continue to trail Lehigh Valley 17-16 when a kill by sophomore Chelsey Dominguez (Bronx, NY) turned the table. Dominguez would side out Lehigh Valley on the play and then proceed to lead Hazleton on a five point run from the service line. Hazleton scored nine of the final 11 points in the frame to squash the Lehigh Valley rally and carry that momentum into the third set. 

With a 2-0 advantage, set three went according to plan for the Lady Lions. Hazleton opened up a healthy 15-6 lead in the final frame and despite a pair of late four point runs by Lehigh Valley, Hazleton closed out the final points relatively stress free.

Dominguez and Hornsby combined for 20 of Hazleton's 31 kills on the day with both players finishing the match in double-figures. Freshman Alessandra Banta (Coatesville, Pa.) continued her fine passing, assisting on 19 scores while senior Lauren Nietz (Coaldale, Pa.) notched nine of Hazleton's 29 digs in the victory. 

Next up: With the win, Hazleton improves to 1-1 in the PSUAC and seek to improve that record as conference play continues. In game three of Hazleton's four game homestand, the Lady Lions will welcome Penn State to the Dr. Thomas M. Cacesse Gymnasium on Wednesday, September 19 for a 7:00 p.m. match.