Lions drop final three sets to York in PSUAC opener

Charlotte Vinson registers a kill.
Charlotte Vinson registers a kill.

Hazleton, Pa. - The Nittany Lions fell three sets to one against Penn State York in the team's first Penn State University Athletic Conference game of the season. Hazleton stole the first set, coming from behind to win 26-24 to claim a 1-0 lead in the match but following a 12 kill performance in the first frame, Hazleton mustered just 12 kills for the remainder of the contest, dropping the final three sets to York and falling to 0-1 in the early stages of conference play. 

Hazleton led for much of the first set until a five point run by York gave the visitors a 21-19 cushion late in the action. But Hazleton responded with seven of the final 10 points of the set, getting kills from freshman Jadyn Hooper (Mountain Top, Pa.) and sophomore Rebecca Dzuranin (McAdoo, Pa.) and several hitting errors by York to give Hazleton the advantage early in the match. 

The Lion's late rally may have put York on upset alert, but the visitors responded with a 13-2 run to take full command of the second set and even up the match at 1-1. Hazleton battled in the third frame to a 12-12 score midway through the pivotal set but a string of attack errors and three straight aces by York's Whitney Smyth left the Lions trailing 22-15, and York was content to trade scores to take a 2-1 lead in the match with a 25-18 win in set three. With a chance to put Hazleton away for the night, York took full advantage of the momentum in set four. The visitors pulled away with a 5-0 run to start off the final set, followed by a 12-0 run by Jayda Simmons from the service line that included seven attack errors from Nittany Lion hitters. Ultimately York prevailed by the score of 25-8 in the fourth frame, escaping the Dr. Thomas M. Caccese Gymnasium with their first conference win of the season. 

McKayla Dyson led all hitters in the match, scoring 11 kills for York while adding 17 assists in the win. Hazleton was led by Hooper with 10 kills and freshman Mackenzie Riccardi (Mountain Lakes, Nj.) who totaled a game-high 21 assists. 

Next up: The Lions will look to bounce back on Thursday, September 15 when the Lions head to Washington D.C. for their second and final matchup with Trinity Washington University. First serve slated for 6:00 p.m.