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Photo by Dylan Darkwah
Photo by Dylan Darkwah

Women’s Volleyball Loses Five-Setter to Gettysburg

by Christina Roukas

ALTOONA, Pa. – The women's volleyball team lost a hard-fought match on Wednesday night, falling 3-2 (25-23, 24-26, 18-25, 25-12, 16-14) to non-conference opponent Gettysburg College in Adler Arena.

In the first set, Lydia Mock's (Alum Bank, PA/Chestnut Ridge) back-to-back aces put the Lions (2-8) in the lead, 8-6. Erin Lutz (State College, PA/State College) played exceptional defense against the Bullets (12-1) with a pancake to keep the ball alive during a long rally that resulted in Penn State Altoona hanging on to a slim lead midway through the set. Lacee Barnhart (Bellefonte PA/Bald Eagle) picked up a kill to put the Lions up 17-14, but Gettysburg used a six-point run to take the lead, 20-17. Taylor Myers' (Morrisdale, PA/West Branch) kill put the Lions behind by one point, 20-19, and Barnhart scored another ace to keep her team within two, 23-21. But Gettysburg ultimately pulled out a 25-23 win in the opening set.

In the second set, Barnhart tied the match 1-1 with a push, and Morgan Fussell's (Blairsville, GA/Union County) hit for a kill put the Lions up 6-4. After the Bullets came back to take an 8-7 lead, a kill from Mock tied the game, 13-13, and Barnhart's back-row roll shot tied the score again, 14-14. The set became neck-and-neck until Penn State Altoona broke a 17-17 tie on an attack error and Myers solo block, and Barnhart later scored an ace to put her team up 21-19. With the score tied 24-24, Penn State Altoona picked up the next two points to win the second set and tie the match.

In the third, Barnhart scored a kill to put the Lions in an early advantage, 4-3. After a Gettysburg kill tied the score, Penn State Altoona used an eight-point run to take a healthy 12-4 lead. Later, Barnhart and Myers combined for a block to make it 18-11, and Barnhart's back-row hit for a kill increased her team's lead to 22-14. Mock scored a kill to put the Lions one point away from winning the set, and a Gettysburg service error later accounted for the winning point for Penn State Altoona, which took a 2-1 lead in the match with a 25-18 victory in the third set.

The Bullets went on a five-point run to start the fourth set, then increased their lead to 11-4. Barnhart's hit off the block lowered the Penn State Altoona deficit to three, 13-10, but Gettysburg went on to lead by as many as 13 points, winning the set 25-12 to force a fifth.

The Lions started the fifth set with the first three points on kills from Barnhart and Myers and a setting error by Gettysburg. An attack error by the Bullets midway through the set put the Penn State Altoona lead at 8-6, but the visitors came back to tie the score and grab a 9-8 lead. Myers' kill helped the Lions get back on top, 11-9, and Barnhart's hit through a block evened the score at 12-12. After Gettysburg got to set point, Mock's tip kept the Lions alive and narrowed the Bullets' lead to 14-13. An attack error by the Bullets tied the score 14-14, but Gettysburg came up with a kill and a block in the next two points to win the fifth set 16-14 and take the match.

The Lions' Barnhart led all players in the match with 22.5 points and 20 kills, and she also tallied 21 digs, two service aces, and one block assist. Mock contributed 15 points on 13 kills and a pair of aces, and she recorded a team-high 26 digs. Myers had 11.5 points on nine kills, one ace, one solo block, and one block assist while adding seven digs.

Kayla Moran (Boalsburg, PA/State College) put up a match-high 40 assists, and she also finished with 14 digs and a kill. Fussell had a pair of kills and a solo block, and Makenna Port (Bellefonte, PA/Bellefonte) notched two kills.

Lutz recorded 21 digs and also chipped in three assists.

The women's volleyball team heads back on the road Friday, September 30 to play against non-conference opponent Messiah University. The match is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m.