KU Falls to UPJ in PSAC Play

Women’s Volleyball | Box Score
KUTZTOWN | Less than 24 hours after securing its first Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) victory of the 2017 season, the Kutztown University women’s volleyball team fell in straight sets to the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown Mountain Cats (25-14,25-19,25-21) on Saturday afternoon.

UPJ’s offense came out firing to open the match, racking up seven kills in its first 12 points to put the Mountain Cats ahead 12-4 early on. Pitt-Johnstown continued to extend this advantage as the set progressed, winning the opening frame by a final of 25-14. UPJ’s high-powered attack had 15 kills and zero attacking errors in the first set, hitting .441 as a team.

Despite a relatively one-sided opening set, the Golden Bears showed no signs of discouragement in a very competitive second frame. KU’s aggressive play from the service line forced the UPJ offense out of system several times to the midway point of set two, as a kill from Alli Henderson (Boalsburg, Pa./State College Area)put Kutztown ahead 13-9.

Trailing by four, Pitt-Johnstown found its offensive rhythm at this point, using a 6-2 run to even the set at 15-all. Both sides traded points to the 18-18 mark, but a critical string of four straight tallies from UPJ proved to be the difference in this frame. Ahead 22-18 following this, the Mountain Cats saw this margin to the finish line, defeating the Maroon and Gold in set two, 25-19.

A slow start in the third set put the Golden Bears behind 12-6 in the early stages. However, a resilient KU side clawed its way back, using a 5-1 run which was capped by a block from Brittney Moyer(Orwigsburg, Pa./Blue Mountain (Lock Haven)) and Niki Carpenter(King of Prussia, Pa./Upper Merion Area) to pull within two, trailing 13-11.

Performing well when it was needed most, Pitt-Johnstown’s offense ripped off five of the next seven points to go ahead 18-13, prompting a timeout from Head Coach John Gump. Down but not out, Kutztown again closed the gap, getting this deficit to one down 22-21, following a Henderson kill and Mountain Cat attacking error.

Three straight kills from UPJ at this point decided the outcome of the third set as Pitt-Johnstown came away with a 25-21 victory, taking the match in three sets.

Offensively, the Maroon and Gold were led in kills by the trio of Moyer, Jessica Howe (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg Area)and Henderson, whom posted eight, seven and five kills respectively. Britney Hewitt (East Stroudsburg, Pa./Stroudsburg (East Stroudsburg)), who added four kills, recorded a team-high .375 attack percentage in the match and chipped in two of KU’s four blocks on the afternoon.

The defensive effort was captained by Sydney Wilson (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty), who racked up 13 digs, posting her 12th-straight match with double-digit digs. Setters Madisyn Kleinfelter(Jonestown, Pa./Northern Lebanon) and Abbey James (York, Pa./West York Area) combined for 25 of Kutztown’s 26 assists in the match.

The Maroon and Gold fall to 6-15 overall and 1-8 in the PSAC while UPJ improves to 17-5 overall and 7-2 in the PSAC.

KU’s next match will be on the road against its arch-rival, the West Chester University Rams, at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20.

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