Lady Lions Volleyball Stumbles in ECAC Opening Round

Lady Lions Volleyball Stumbles in ECAC Opening Round

GROVE CITY, Pa. – Penn State Altoona women's volleyball's season came to an end on Wednesday night, when the Lady Lions suffered a 3-0 loss to Grove City College in the first round of the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Championship Tournament at the Grove City Arena.

Penn State Altoona (12-13), the number four seed in Pod 4 of the tournament bracket, lost the match by scores of 25-21, 25-19, 25-22. The Lady Lions are eliminated from the tournament.

Meanwhile, Grove City (20-10), which was the number one seed in Pod 4, will move on to the next round of the ECAC Tournament this weekend.

Jenna Bauer (Ebensburg, PA/Central Cambria) put up a double-double for Penn State Altoona, leading her team in kills with 10 while finishing with 13 digs. She also tied for the match-high with four total blocks, recording two solo blocks and two block assists.

Seniors Lauren Diller (Chambersburg, PA/Chambersburg) and Emily Bryan (Waynesboro, PA/Waynesboro) also had strong performances for the Lady Lions in their final collegiate match. Diller finished the night with 11 digs, seven kills, and four block assists, while Bryan tied for the team-high in assists with 13 and added six digs and two kills.

Lydia Mock (Alum Bank, PA/Chestnut Ridge) recorded a team-high 15 digs to go along with six kills and one block assist. Sara Russo (Lebanon, PA/Cedar Crest) had four kills and two block assists, and Lilia Farach (Tegucigalpa, Honduras/International School of Panama) posted three block assists and a pair of kills.

Kayla Moran (Boalsburg, PA/State College) tied Bryan for the team-high in assists with 13, notched a team-best two service aces, and chipped in six digs. Lexie Dorcon (Berlin, PA/Berlin Brothersvalley) totaled five digs.

In the first set, Grove City jumped out to a big lead, then fended off a late rally by Penn State Altoona. The Wolverines started the set by establishing an 18-7 lead, but an 8-1 run by the Lady Lions closed the gap to 19-15. One point later, Farach and Russo combined for a block and Moran served up an ace to make it 20-17. Grove City reeled off the next four points, but Penn State Altoona stayed alive by responding with four straight points of their own, including a Diller kill and Bauer ace. But the Wolverines answered with a kill to win the set.

After Mock started the second set with a kill, Grove City outscored the Lady Lions 7-1 over the next eight points. Penn State Altoona battled back and trimmed their deficit to one, 12-11, following a kill from Diller and solo block by Bauer. But the Wolverines used a 7-2 run to widen the margin to six points, 19-13. Another ace by Moran, along with kills from Bauer and Mock, brought Penn State Altoona back to within three points three different times late in the set, but Grove City used three straight kills to end the set and secure a 2-0 lead in the match.

Penn State Altoona posted its best hitting percentage of the night in the third set, in which the team combined for a .220 attack percentage. The Lady Lions found themselves in a close set, tied 17-17 midway through, but three straight points from Grove City put the home team ahead for good. Two Bauer kills and a block, along with a Diller kill, cut the Wolverines' advantage to 23-22. But Grove City scored the next two points on an attack error and a block to win the set and the match.