Bradford, PA -- The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford women's volleyball team swept its way to a 3-0 victory over AMCC rival Medaille College on Wednesday night. The Panthers used a stout defense early in the match to build up a two set lead and were able to withstand a late Maverick rally in the final set to put the match away.
Pitt-Bradford won the first set 25-16, using a defense that forced Medaille into a -.030 hitting percentage. The Panthers racked up 17 kills in the set, with Emily Cleveland recording 5 and Riley Anderson recording 4. They took an early lead over the Mavericks and then put the set away with a 7-1 run that was punctuated by a Kaityn Sexton and Katie Treat block. With the score 24-13, Medaille was able to score three points to prolong the set until Cleveland put away the set winning point. Tabitha Walker assisted on 9 of the kills, while Laura Hildebrand collected 5 digs.
Pitt-Bradford was able to use 17 kills on their way to taking the second set, however were not as efficient as the first set, hitting at a .158 percentage. They used a balanced attack that saw 5 different players record multiple kills, with Cleveland leading the way with 6. The teams stayed even through the first portion of the set, as neither team built a lead more than two points. The Panthers pushed ahead for good after being down 10-11. They scored 5 consecutive points to break the deadlock using two kills each from Anderson and Sydney Shepherd and an ace from Sexton. Pitt-Bradford maintained their lead for the majority of the set however the Mavericks used a late 4-1 run to cut the lead to two. The Panthers responded with three points in a row of their own to set up set point and traded side outs to close the set.
The third and final set was much closer, as the Panthers were unable to put Medaille away quickly. Medaille improved their hitting percentage to .241 in the final set while Pitt-Bradford lowered theirs to a match low .150. Neither team was able to build more than a two point lead throughout the entire set. The Panthers were set up to close out the match at 24-22 in the third, but saw the Mavericks score three straight in an attempt to prolong the match. Coach Roof used a timeout to refocus his team, and Kaitlyn Sexton responded, scoring three straight points to close the match. She picked up a shared block with Kamryn Piscitelli to tie the set at 25, and then shared another block with Tabitha Walker to put her team ahead. On the next point Walker set up Sexton off of a free ball to finish the match.
Riley Anderson and Emily Cleveland both recorded 11 kills in the match. Anderson finished with a .357 hitting percentage and also collected 19 digs. Cleveland put down her 11 kills in only 2 sets and also added a service ace. Elizabeth Johnson finished with a .462 hitting percentage, putting away 7 kill son only 13 swings and adding two assisted blocks. Tabitha Walker recorded with 24 assists and Gabby Barnes finished with 15. Laura Hildebrand led the team with 20 digs. As a team, the Panthers recorded 7 blocks, with Katie Treat being involved in 4 of them.
The win moves the Panthers back above .500 with a 12-11 overall record and a 4-1 record in conference play. They are currently in a tie with Mount Aloysius for second place in the AMCC, but do not own the tiebreaker due to their head to head loss to the Mounties. They will have nearly a week off, as they prepare for an important conference match-up at first place Penn State Behrend. The match is scheduled for Tuesday, October 22nd at 7:00 p.m.