BRADFORD, Pa. – The No. 2 seeded University of Pittsburgh at Bradford women's volleyball team will take on No. 3 Penn State-Behrend Saturday in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference semifinals hosted by Penn State-Altoona.
The Panthers earned a share of the AMCC regular season title as they tied with Penn State-Altoona atop the conference standings with a 7-2 record in AMCC play.
Pitt-Bradford was awarded the No. 2 seed due to a head-to-head tiebreaker rule since Altoona topped the Panthers, 3-2, on Sept. 23.
The Panthers enter the tournament as the hottest team in the AMCC having won eight-straight matches for the longest active winning streak in the conference.
Playing their best volleyball at the end of the season, the Panthers did not surrender a single set to a conference opponent in the month on October (15-0) and have gone 24-1 in sets play during their eight-game winning streak.
The Panthers' front line is one of the toughest in the conference to get past as Erin Fagan enters the semifinals with the best blocks per set mark in the conference at 0.85. Ally Easton is third in the AMCC at 0.70 and Katie Treat is fifth at 0.66.
Fagan's 74 total blocks are tied for the most in the AMCC, and Easton's 57 are the fifth most.
As the libero, Laura Hildebrand enters the semifinals with the third-most digs in the conference with 429 and fourth-best digs per set mark at 4.93.
Offensively, Emily Cleveland enters the postseason as the Panthers' top hitter with the fifth-most kills (238) and kills per set (2.83) of all hitters in the conference.
Fagan has the third-most kills on the Panthers with 162 but hits at the third-highest percentage in the AMCC at .264.
Of the Panthers' 965 total kills, 620 have been assisted by Payton Orzech. Against AMCC opponents, her 9.91 assists per set is the best average in the conference, topping the next-highest total by 1.44 a/s.
Riley Anderson has done it all for the Panthers, earning the second-most kills on the team (180), digs (243) and service aces (31).
Alayna Seggi is one of seven Panthers to appear in all 26 matches. A strong member of the Panther defense, Seggi has earned the third-most digs on the team with 197.
Saturday's semifinals match will begin at 4:30 p.m., the second of the two matches at Penn State-Altoona with the first beginning at 2 p.m.
If the Panthers advance, they will play the winner of No. 4 La Roche and No. 1 Penn State-Altoona on Sunday at 1 p.m.
About Penn State-Behrend (17-11, 6-3 AMCC):
- The semifinals matchup between the Panthers and the Lions will feature the two hottest teams in the conference as Penn State-Behrend has won six-straight matches for the second-longest active winning streak in the conference.
- Behrend is coming off a strong 3-0 win over Mount Aloysius in the AMCC tournament first round Wednesday. The Lions did not surrender more than 17 points in any of the three sets.
- Rachel Frye is the team's top hitter with the third-most kills in the conference (264) and fourth-most kills per set (2.87). Frye led the Lions with nine kills in the AMCC first-round match. Hannah Saunders is second in the AMCC with 7.14 assists per set and Kylie McSwaney leads the conference with 0.56 service aces per set.
- The two teams met on Sept. 27 at Behrend with the Panthers coming out on top, 3-0. Anderson and Cleveland led the Panthers with 10 kills apiece.