Erie, Pa. -- The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford volleyball team struggled on the road against the top ranked team in the AMCC, Penn State Behrend. In the 3-0 loss, the Panthers battled to close losses in the first two sets, 25-23 and 25-22, but were unable to stay with the Lions in the final set, dropping it 25-15.
Pitt-Bradford got off to a quick start as they took a 7-2 lead right off the bat in set 1. Elizabeth Johnson and Riley Anderson started things off with consecutive kills and the Panthers concluded the run with two consecutive blocks. From that point the Lions worked on a scoring run of their own, flipping the score to take a two point lead at 12-10. The Panthers were able to get back to within a point multiple times throughout the set, but were unable to tie the score.
Set two saw the Panthers take another early lead, however a 6 point run from Penn State Behrend put the Lions up 5. Pitt-Bradford responded with a big run of their own midway through the set to tie the game at 17. Laura Hildebrand got things started with a service ace, Emily Cleveland rolled off three kills and Tabitha Walker and Anderson put down kills to even the set. Despite tying the set three times at 20, 21 and 22, the Lions were able to rattle off three straight points to put the set away and take a commanding 2-0 lead.
The final set started evenly as both teams swapped points early. Penn State Behrend built up a 4 point lead at 10-6 but saw the Panthers come roaring back to move within one point at 12-13. The Lions went on to put the game away after that point, scoring 8 out of 9 points to move away from Pitt-Bradford and then 4 straight to close the match.
Emily Cleveland led the Panther offense with 11 kills, with Riley Anderson finishing just behind her with 10.0 Tabitha walker dished out 25 assists in the match. She was also one of three Panthers to rack up double digit digs, as she recorded 13 while Laura Hildebrand led the way with 16 and Anderson added 11.
The loss drops the Panther's record to 12-12 overall with a 4-2 record in AMCC play. They will look to get back in the win column with two important matches over the weekend. The weekend begins with a Senior Day match against Pitt-Greensburg at 1:00 PM on Saturday. It will be followed by a rescheduled match against Franciscan at 2:00 PM on Sunday. The game originally scheduled for October 5th in Steubenville, will be held in the KOA Arena with the Panthers serving as the visiting team.