Lions lose close matchup with Schuylkill

Natasha Feliciano serves the ball.
Natasha Feliciano serves the ball.

Hazleton, Pa. - Hazleton and Penn State Schuylkill locked up on Friday night in the Dr. Thomas M. Caccese Gymnasium and fans were treated to back and forth contest with Schuylkill coming out the victor, three sets to none. Just seven points separated the rivals in the first two sets of the night but in the end, Schuylkill's hitting percentage and service game gave them the edge in this one. 

Sets one and two were seesawed in every sense of the word. The game opened with Schuylkill and Hazleton trading the lead six times as both teams scored in bunches. Hazleton led by as many as 5 points late in the frame but an eight point run by Schuylkill that included three aces by Sydney Morton switched the momentum and resulted in a 25-22 loss for Hazleton. Set two saw even more chaos and 14 leads as neither squad managed more than a two point cushion through the first 40 points of the frame. Kayla Nothstein (Palmerton, Pa.) registered six kills and a ace in the set to give Hazleton a chance to square the match but Hazleton mustered just one run of three points in the set. Once again Schuylkill built late momentum from behind the service line, scoring a 6-1 to come from behind and snare 25-21 win and control of the bout. The Lions fought early in set three, at one point leading 8-6 cushion before running out of steam. From that point on, Schuylkill pulled away with 11 kills down the stretch to outlast Hazleton 25-15 and sweep Hazleton on their home floor. 

13 aces by the visitors contributed to the victory, including a team high five by Schuylkill's Sydney Morton. Morton added nine kills while Maddy Felty led the squad with 11kills and 15 points. Ava Seltzer topped out with a game high 24 kills. 

A solid night for the Nittany Lions with setter Alessandra Banta (Coatesville, Pa.) totaling three kills and 11 assists with Caitlyn Williams (Brooklyn, Pa.) digging out 14 attacks. Nothstein picked up a game high 12 kills on the night but 24 attack errors kept the Lions from stretching out the contest. 

Next up: Hazleton wraps up a four game home stand on Tuesday night when the Lions welcome USCAA opponent Manor College for a 7:00 p.m. non-conference match.