Panthers Hang With Tough Competition In Scranton Tournament First Day

Panthers Hang With Tough Competition In Scranton Tournament First Day

SCRANTON, Pa. -- The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford opened its 2018 season playing tough competition in the Scranton Tournament.

Pitt-Bradford faced RIT in its first game and Brockport in game two.

"We played really well," Head Coach Tom Roof said. "We played with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm tonight. I liked the way our defense played. We had to make some adjustments to our lineup through the second match but I'm really happy with the way the girls competed against some really great teams." 

Brockport finished 2017 ranked No. 4 in the New York Region.

In the season opener, the two teams battled early before RIT  opened up a 16-10 lead in the first set and maintained a steady lead and never looked back.

The Panthers answered in set two, though, overcoming a late RIT lead to come out on top, 25-22.

Down 22-18, the Panthers scored seven-straight points highlighted by a rally with Reily Anderson serving. 

Emily Cleveland had the set-winning kill for Pitt-Bradford.

But RIT took set three, 25-16, putting the Panthers away late.

Pitt-Bradford battled back late in the fourth set, though, as they wouldn't go down easy.

Down to their last point, 24-17, a pair of service aces from Payton Orzech highlighted a rally, but RIT escaped, 25-22, to take the match win.

Cleveland led the team with 10 kills while Anderson had seven.

Laura Hildebrand had 18 digs and Orzech had 13.

Orzech also assisted 24 of the team's 34 kills.

In the nightcap, the Panthers took Brockport to five sets. 

The Panthers edged Brockport in the first two sets, 25-22 and 25-23.

But Brockport found its offense, winnings the next two sets, 25-16 and 25-13.

The two teams battled but Brockport went onto take the deciding set narrowly, 15-13.

Cleveland had 15 kills while Anderson had 10.

Up next, the Panthers will play two more matches to conclude action in the Scranton Tournament Saturday, first taking on Misericordia at 12:30 p.m. then concluding with Hood at 2:30 p.m.