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.