KUTZTOWN, Pa. – Despite winning the opening set, the Kutztown University women’s volleyball team was bested by the West Chester University Rams in four sets (25-18, 10-25, 17-25, 19-25) in a matchup of Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Southeast Division foes on Friday evening.
KU’s offense dictated the action from the first serve in the opening frame with three kills in the first four points to take an early 4-0 lead, prompting a WCU timeout. This offensive success continued after the break in action, as a run of three consecutive kills, one from Alli Henderson (Boalsburg, Pa./State College Area) and two from Brittney Moyer (Orwigsburg, Pa./Blue Mountain (Lock Haven)), put Kutztown in front, 7-3.
West Chester evened the score at 13-all, but a 6-1 Golden Bear run at this point put the Maroon and Gold ahead to stay in the first set. Kutztown ripped off the last five points of the frame to put the exclamation point on a decisive set victory, 25-18. KU hit .235 as a team to open the match, posting 12 kills and just four errors in set number one.
Motivated to even up the match score, WCU raced out to a 13-4 lead in the second set. With this margin in hand, the Golden Rams dispatched KU in the frame, cruising to a 25-10 victory and tying the match at 1-1.
Down 5-4 to begin the third set, Kutztown rolled off four straight tallies with Lindsey Davis (Nazareth, Pa./Nazareth Area) at the service line to take an 8-5 advantage. A short time later, the Golden Bears continued to maintain their lead, as a Moyer kill saw them in front, 11-9.
WCU made a critical run after tying the frame at 14-14, scoring the next seven points to take a commanding 21-14 lead. Both sides traded points to the finish line of the third set, but this run proved to be the difference, as the Maroon and Gold fell in set three, 25-17, facing a 2-1 match deficit headed to the fourth.
Trailing 9-6, KU got a kill from Henderson and setting error from the Golden Rams to cut the margin to one in a back-and-forth set four. Clinging to its one-point lead, WCU found its rhythm at the right time, running off four of the next five tallies to go ahead, 14-9.
Kutztown continued to battle against the division-leading Golden Rams as the frame progressed, trimming the lead to two on an Abbey James (York, Pa./West York Area) service ace at the 15-13 mark. A talented West Chester squad wouldn’t allow KU to come any closer than this, however, as WCU finished off set four with a 25-19 triumph, winning the match by a 3-1 final score.
Offensively, the trio of Jessica Howe (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg Area), Henderson and Moyer provided 29 of 33 kills in the match, hitting at a combined .152 clip. Henderson, who finished with 10 kills, added 14 digs for her fifth double-double of the season. James and Madisyn Kleinfelter (Jonestown, Pa./Northern Lebanon) dished out 27 combined assists to pace the Golden Bear offensive attack.
On the defensive end, Sydney Wilson (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty)continued her outstanding play in her first season in Maroon and Gold, racking up 25 digs and three assists in four sets.
Kutztown travels to Cheyney University in search of its first PSAC road win of 2017 for a tilt with the Wolves tomorrow afternoon at 11 a.m.