Comeback bid comes up short vs. Schuylkill

Caitlyn Williams lines up a serve.
Caitlyn Williams lines up a serve.

Hazleton, Pa. - The Lady Lions dropped their second match of the year to Penn State Schuylkill with Tuesday night's 3-1 loss in the Dr. Thomas M. Cacesse Gymnasium. Hazleton fell to a record of 6-12 on the season and 4-6 in the Penn State University Athletic Conference while Schuylkill improved to 9-1 in the PSUAC. 

Hazleton took an early lead in Tuesday night's match until an injury sidelined Hazleton's top hitter in junior Abby Bessoir (Drums, Pa.), changing the momentum in set one. The Lions battled to keep it close but with the score tied at 12-12, Schuylkill reeled off 11 of the next 12 points to take a commanding lead in the frame, ultimately taking the first set by the score of 25-19.

The Lions luck was no different in set two, falling victim to an eight point run midway through the frame with Schuylkill's Noel Kauffman at the service line that gave the visitors a 16-7. Hazleton and Schuylkill would trade points down the stretch resulting in a 2-0 advantage for Schuylkill with a 25-19 win in set two. 

Although they faced a 2-0 deficit, Hazleton had played well throughout the match and in the third set, the Lions turned up the offense. Five different Lady Lions earned kills during the set including multiple scores by freshmen Payton Fogarty Kinnelon, Nj.) and RosaLydia Caputo (Howard Beach, Ny.). With the score tied at 22 each, a pair of bad sets by the Schuylkill squad and a kill by freshman Samantha Paisley (Weatherly, Pa.) closed out the frame for a Hazleton win.

The Lions were back in contention but Hazleton couldn't carry enough of the momentum from the third stanza into the deciding set and even the match. Hazleton and Schuylkill went back and forth for much of the set until Schuylkill made a pair of late runs. With the score neck and neck at 17-16 in favor of the visitors, Schuylkill reeled off a four point run behind the serve of Emma Nace and two points later, duplicated the feat with another four point swing to claim the fourth set 25-18 and the match 3-1. 

Caputo led the Hazleton offense with seven kills on the night, adding four service aces and 13 digs in the loss. Fogarty added six kills and 16 digs while sophomore Alessandra Banta (Coatesville, Pa.) led the passing effort with 18 assists. 

Next up: The Lady Lions finish up their non-conference schedule on Thursday, October 17 with a visit to the University of Valley Forge for a 7:00 p.m. match.