Hornets Come Back to Sting Lady Lions 3-2

Photo by Noah Riffe
Photo by Noah Riffe

WINCHESTER, Va. – Shenandoah University came back from a 2-1 deficit on Wednesday night to defeat the Penn State Altoona women's volleyball team 3-2 at the Wilkins Center.

Shenandoah (5-8) won the match 25-20, 14-25, 21-25, 25-22, 15-11.

Penn State Altoona (3-11) established a 2-1 lead and held a 20-18 advantage in the fourth set, but the Hornets rallied to win the fourth to stay alive in the match. The Lady Lions again grabbed a lead, going up 8-4 to start the fifth set. But Shenandoah came back again to take the fifth set and win the match.

Three Penn State Altoona players recorded double-doubles on the night, with each one of them posting personal season-high totals in digs.

Kelsey Bristol (Troy, PA/Troy) led all players in the match with 15 kills to go along with a team-high 28 digs. Lauren Moran (Johnstown, PA/Westmont Hilltop) led the Lady Lions in assists with 20 while adding 17 digs. Emily Bryan (Waynesboro, PA/Waynesboro) totaled 16 assists while posting 21 digs.

Kaitlin Cassaday (Bel Air, MD/Bel Air) added seven kills while tallying a match-high six service aces. Her six aces are tied for the second-most by one player in a five-set match in team history.

Kaila Clawson (Altoona, PA/Altoona) finished with 16 digs, and Nicole Kiser (Altoona, PA/Bishop Guilfoyle) chipped in nine digs. As a team, Penn State Altoona recorded a season-high 101 digs.

Lea Crofcheck (Tyrone, PA/Tyrone) and Eden Taddei (Hollidaysburg, PA/Hollidaysburg) finished with two block assists each. Alexis Cannistraci (Tyrone, PA/Tyrone) and Cassaday had one block assist each, and Tara Ryan (Waldwick, NJ/Waldwick) had her team's lone solo block.

Penn State Altoona never led in the first set, as Shenandoah opened up a 13-5 lead. The Lady Lions narrowed their deficit to four points late in the set, but the Hornets closed it out 25-20.

In the second set, it was Penn State Altoona that got out to a big lead to start. The Lady Lions seized a 16-4 lead, getting kills from seven different players in that stretch. Later, Penn State Altoona finished off the set with kills from Bryan and Moran, along with a Shenandoah service error.

The Lady Lions overcame a deficit in the third set. Down 15-12, Penn State Altoona outscored Shenandoah 13-6 the rest of the way. During that run, the Lady Lions capitalized on seven Shenandoah errors.

Penn State Altoona came close to wrapping up the match, as it held a 20-18 advantage in the fourth set. But Shenandoah turned the tables, going on a 7-2 run to close out the set. Ashley Thompson and Emily Cheatwood had kills for the Hornets to account for two of their team's final three points.

In the fifth set, the Lady Lions worked their way to an 8-4 lead that included a trio of aces from Cassaday. But Shenandoah went on another comeback, outscoring Penn State Altoona 11-3 over the remainder of the set. The Lady Lions' final three points came courtesy of kills from Bristol, Cassaday, and Bryan, but it was not enough to hold off the Hornets' rally.

Penn State Altoona women's volleyball gets back into Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference play for its next match, as it makes the short trip to Cresson, Pa. to face nearby league rival Mount Aloysius College for a 7:00 p.m. match on Tuesday, October 2.