ALTOONA, Pa. – On Tuesday night, Penn State Altoona women's volleyball was handed its first regular season loss at home in nearly a year, as the Lady Lions were defeated 3-0 by non-conference opponent Penn State Harrisburg in the Adler Arena.
Penn State Harrisburg (3-5) prevailed 25-16, 25-20, 25-17 over Penn State Altoona (2-8), which took a regular season loss on its home court for the first time since September 13, 2017.
Alexis Cannistraci (Tyrone, PA/Tyrone) led the Lady Lions in kills with five, and Paige Burk (Claysburg, PA/Claysburg-Kimmel) had four kills. Kelsey Bristol (Troy, PA/Troy) finished with three kills and eight digs, and Emily Bryan (Waynesboro, PA/Waynesboro) tallied three kills and four digs. Kaitlin Cassaday (Bel Air, MD/Bel Air) had a team-high two service aces to go along with six digs and two kills.
Lauren Moran (Johnstown, PA/Westmont Hilltop) tied for the team-high in digs with 13, and she also recorded a team-best eight assists. Kaila Clawson (Altoona, PA/Altoona) also finished with 13 digs, and Nicole Kiser (Altoona, PA/Bishop Guilfoyle) added seven digs.
Penn State Altoona struggled to get into a groove and found itself down early. A 7-0 run early in the first set helped Harrisburg get out to a 9-4 lead. Brittany Wolf's kill later in the set gave the visitors a seven-point lead, 21-14, prompting a timeout by Penn State Altoona. The Lady Lions got a kill from Bristol out of the timeout, but Harrisburg used two kills by Wolf, a Kerri Miller service ace, and a Penn State Altoona attack error to close out the opening set.
The second set followed a similar script, with Harrisburg going on a run early in the set. The visitors capitalized on six Penn State Altoona errors en route to a 10-3 lead to start the set. A late 4-0 run by the Lady Lions brought them to within four points, as four straight Harrisburg errors narrowed the score to 23-19. But Harrisburg scored two of the next three points to close out the set, getting kills from Cheyanna Buckingham and Alexis Imler.
Penn State Altoona reversed its trend by getting off to a strong start in the third set. Kills from Cannistraci and Moran, along with two service aces from Cassaday, helped the Lady Lions jump out to a 5-1 lead. After Harrisburg tied the score 7-7, Bryan's kill and two Harrisburg attack errors put the home squad back on top, 10-7. But Harrisburg outscored Penn State Altoona 18-7 the rest of the way to win the set and the match.
Women's volleyball goes back on the road for its next match, traveling to Pittsburgh to face non-conference opponent Chatham University this Thursday, September 13 at 7:00 p.m.