KUTZTOWN | In front of a boisterous home crowd at Keystone Arena, the Kutztown University women’s volleyball team downed the Lock Haven University Bald Eagles in four sets (27-25,19-25,26-24,25-23) for its first win of the season in Pennslyvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) play.
Set one was a knock-down, drag-out affair with both sides exchanging leads for much of the opening frame. KU opened the first considerable margin of the set when Alli Henderson(Boalsburg, Pa./State College Area) delivered a kill from the outside to put the Golden Bears ahead 18-15, prompting a Lock Haven timeout.
Following the break in action, LHU chipped away at this lead, tying the score at 25-all to set the stage for extra volleyball in the first set. In bonus action, the Kutztown offense converted in the critical
moments, getting back-to-back kills from Brittney Moyer (Orwigsburg, Pa./Blue Mountain (Lock Haven)) and Britney Hewitt (East Stroudsburg, Pa./Stroudsburg (East Stroudsburg)), to close out set one with a 27-25 victory.
Despite falling short in the first set, the Bald Eagles stormed out to an 11-6 lead to open the second frame. As the set progressed, LHU continued to extend its advantage, which ballooned to as much as nine at 20-11 in the final stages of the set.
Still, the Golden Bears clawed their way back, getting the score as close as 22-17 on a Lindsay Davis service ace, but ultimately couldn’t overcome Lock Haven’s large margin, dropping set two, 25-19, tying the match at 1-1.
Using its momentum from the late run in set two, KU jumped in front 10-5 to begin set three, forcing a LHU timeout following a Henderson kill. Kutztown maintained its lead as the third frame reached the latter stages, prompting a second Lock Haven timeout, ahead 21-17.
The Bald Eagles showed their resiliency following the TO, using an 8-3 run to tie the score at 24-24. For the second time in the match, the Golden Bears found their form in the most important juncture. Jessica Howe (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg Area)hammered home a kill to put KU ahead 25-24, which was then followed up by a service ace from Henderson to finish the set four victory in style, 26-24, taking a 2-1 match lead.
As was the case in two of the three previous sets, set four was back-and-forth from the get-go with both sides trading points early on. Neither side led by more than two tallies at any time during what would be the final set, but KU gained the upper hand, going ahead by two, 17-15, after a Moyer kill.
However, LHU quickly tied the score following this, setting up a dramatic end to the fourth set. Tied at 22-all, Henderson delivered a service ace to put Kutztown ahead for good, as a 2-1 run following this gave the Golden Bears the victory in the fourth set, 25-23, and in the match by a 3-1 score.
Offensively, the KU was led by Howe and Moyer, who hammered home a combined 25 of the team’s 50 kills in the match. Defensively, Hewitt was a brick wall at the net for Kutztown, posting a team-high 6.0 total blocks. Once again, Sydney Wilson(Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty) anchored the Golden Bear backline to the tune of 30 digs on the evening. The setting duo of Abbey James(York, Pa./West York Area) and Madisyn Kleinfelter (Jonestown, Pa./Northern Lebanon) facilitated the offense effectively, with 37 combined assists.
With the victory, KU moves to 6-14 overall and 1-7 in the PSAC while LHU falls to 9-11 and 2-6 in the PSAC.
Kutztown returns to action tomorrow afternoon against the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown Panthers at 1 p.m. inside Keystone Arena.