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Photo by Earl Kufen
Photo by Earl Kufen

Women’s Volleyball Sweeps La Roche

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Penn State Altoona women's volleyball got back in the win column on Wednesday night, when the Lions posted a 3-0 victory over Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference opponent La Roche University in the Kerr Fitness and Sports Center.

Penn State Altoona (9-4, 2-2 AMCC) won in three sets by scores of 25-11, 25-17 and 26-24.

Lydia Mock (Alum Bank, PA/Chestnut Ridge) led all players in the match with 12.0 points and nine kills, and she tied for the match-high in service aces with three. Mock also contributed 16 digs.

Taylor Myers (Morrisdale, PA/West Branch) recorded eight kills on a .615 kill percentage, and Lacee Barnhart (Bellefonte, PA/Bald Eagle) added six kills and a pair of aces to go along with nine digs and a block assist. Alexis Cannistraci (Tyrone, PA/Tyrone) led the team in blocks with one solo block and two block assists, and she tallied five kills on a .556 attack percentage.

Grace Shelley (York, PA/York Catholic) also had five kills while swinging at a .833 clip. Makenna Bauer (Tyrone, PA/Tyrone) chipped in three kills and a block assist, and Taylor Kilmer (Julian, PA/Bald Eagle) recorded one kill.

Kayla Moran (Boalsburg, PA/State College) tallied a match-high 31 assists, and she also finished with 10 digs and three kills. Erin Lutz (State College, PA/State College) added three assists while anchoring her team's defensive efforts by leading all players in the match with 19 digs.

In the night's opening set, Penn State Altoona worked its way out to a big lead by embarking on a run after the first 10 points. Leading 6-4, the Lions outscored La Roche 10-3 over the next 13 points to establish a 16-7 advantage, getting kills from Mock, Moran, Barnhart, and Shelley along the way. Later, four straight points on kills from Mock and Bauer, a block by Bauer and Cannistraci, and an ace from Barnhart extended Penn State Altoona's lead to 12 points, 22-10. The Lions scored the last three points of the set on a Mock kill, an ace from Kristen Onder (Clarence, PA/Bald Eagle), and a La Roche attack error.

La Roche hung around in the early stages of the second set, before Penn State Altoona widened the gap midway through. A kill and ace from Myers, along with a Barnhart kill, helped turn a 9-6 lead into a seven-point advantage, as the Lions reeled off four straight points to make it 13-6. Back-to-back Penn State Altoona blocks helped increase the lead to 15-7, as Cannistraci recorded a solo block, then joined Barnhart for a block assist on the next play. Six of Penn State Altoona's final nine points of the set came courtesy of kills, with Myers accounting for two and Bauer, Cannistraci, Kilmer, and Mock notching one apiece.

Penn State Altoona led for nearly all of the third set, but La Roche kept things close before the Lions ultimately pulled out the victory. Up by just two points, 18-16, Penn State Altoona scored points on consecutive plays thanks to a La Roche service error and Mock service ace. After a La Roche point, Shelley, Mock, and Barnhart ripped off three kills in a row to give their team a 23-17 advantage. The Redhawks pushed back, scoring seven of the next eight points to tie the score, 24-24. But a service error and attack error by La Roche handed Penn State Altoona the third set win.

Penn State Altoona returns home for its next match, which kicks off a string of five consecutive home dates to end the team's regular season schedule. The homestand begins this Saturday, October 16 at 3:00 p.m., when the Lions will host AMCC opponent Pitt-Bradford. That match is slated to be played in the Adler Auxiliary Gym.