Lady Lions Fall 3-0 to Westminster in ECAC Tourney Opener

Photo (courtesy of Westminster College Sports Information): Penn State Altoona sophomore Lauren Diller goes up to tip the ball past a Westminster block during Wednesday night's ECAC Tournament match at the Buzz Ridl Gymnasium.
Photo (courtesy of Westminster College Sports Information): Penn State Altoona sophomore Lauren Diller goes up to tip the ball past a Westminster block during Wednesday night's ECAC Tournament match at the Buzz Ridl Gymnasium.

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - #3 Penn State Altoona women's volleyball's season came to an end on Wednesday night, when it suffered a 3-0 loss to #2 Westminster College at the Buzz Ridl Gymnasium in the first round of Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Championship Tournament.

With the loss, the Lady Lions (13-14) are eliminated from the tournament. Westminster advances to face Frostburg State University, the top seed in "Pod 4" of the ECAC Tournament bracket, on Saturday, November 11.

Westminster (27-6) swept Penn State Altoona in straight sets by scores of 25-16, 25-7, and 25-23.

The Lady Lions were led in kills, digs, and service aces by Kelsey Bristol (Troy, PA/Troy), who finished the evening with nine kills, a match-high 16 digs, and two aces. Lauren Diller (Chambersburg, PA/Chambersburg) added eight kills, 10 digs, and one block assist.

Josie Stovall (Palmyra, PA/Palmyra) put up four kills, three digs, and one block assist. Velanna Skripek (Moshannon, PA/Bald Eagle) also finished with four kills to go along with four digs and a block assist.

Lauren Moran (Johnstown, PA/Westmont Hilltop) totaled a team-best 13 set assists while also posting 10 digs. Emily Bryan (Waynesboro, PA/Waynesboro) added nine assists and four digs. Nicole Kiser (Altoona, PA/Bishop Guilfoyle) recorded eight digs, Kaitlin Cassaday (Bel Air, MD/Bel Air) tallied five digs, and Tara Ryan (Waldwick, NJ/Waldwick) had one block assist.

Down 12-5 in the first set, Penn State Altoona used a six-point run to get back into the game. Four of those six points came off of kills from Skripek, Diller, Stovall, and Bristol, and another was from Bryan's ace. Bristol's kill and ace kept the Lady Lions within one point, 14-13, of Westminster's lead. But the Titans rallied to outscore Penn State Altoona 12-3 during the rest of the set to earn a comfortable nine-point win.

Westminster jumped out to another big lead in the second set, staking out an 8-1 advantage in the early going. Penn State Altoona picked up a little momentum midway through the set after kills from Bristol, Skripek, and Stovall made it 11-5, but the Titans went on to wrap up the set with a 14-3 run.

The Titans opened the third set with a 6-0 run and later reeled off eight straight points en route to a 14-2 lead. Penn State Altoona ended the set on a strong note, scoring 17 of the final 24 points.