Bradford, Pa. -- The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford women's volleyball team finished off its regular season with a win over Penn State Altoona in the AMCC Game of the Week on Saturday. They were able to win the first, third and fourth sets to pick up the victory and secure the #3 seed in the upcoming AMCC Tournament.
The Panthers got off to a slow start, allowing the Lions to score the first three points of the match. Katie Treat kick started Pitt-Bradford, picking up two consecutive kills to get the Panthers back in the set. They were able to take the lead at 5-4 after a block from Emily Cleveland and Kaitlyn Sexton, and kept he advantage for the remainder of the set. Pitt-Bradford kept the Lions serving rallys short, limiting them to two consecutive serves or less for the entire set. This allowed them to slowly build a 5 point lead at 19-14, capped off by an Cleveland kill. Cleveland dominated the set for Pitt-Bradford, picking up 8 kills on only 13 swings.
The Panthers struggled through the second set, as they only compiled a .026 hitting percentage. They got off to another slow start, allowing the Lions to score 7 points to begin the set. They were able to cut into the lead following a timeout, however the closest they would come was 3 points. The lions went on to win the set 25-16. Kamryn Piscitelli led the Panthers offense in the set, picking up 3 kills on 5 attacks.
Pitt-Bradford responded to the disappointing second set with a strong finish to the third set to move ahead of the lions. The set saw 7 ties and 5 lead changes throughout the majority of the action. Down 19-18, Gabby Barnes started a Panther rally with a kill on a setter dump. With Alayna Seggi on the serving line, the Panthers used two set errors and kills from Sydney Shepherd and Riley Anderson to build a 4 point lead. After a sideout, Anderson set the Panthers up with set point with a kill and was followed y a Alexandra Segura ace to put Pitt-Bradford ahead 2-1. Anderson led the set with 4 kills, while Cleveland added 3 more.
The fourth set saw the Panthers get off to their best start of the match, scoring the first 3 points with back to back kills from Treat and a block by Elizabeth Johnson. The Lions responded to the early deficit, eventually tieing the set ay 7 points a piece. Another Johnson kill started a Panther rally that included a set error, 2 Cleveland kills and an ace from Laura Hildebrand to put Pitt-Bradford up 6. Penn State Altoona slowly whittled the lead to two points, before Johnson picked up two more kills to put the Panthers on match point. After a Lion side out, Cleveland forcefully put down the final kill of the match to end the set 25-21.
Two Panthers reached double digit kills as Emily Cleveland led the way with 17 and Riley Anderson recorded 10. Tabitha Walker passed out 28 assists in the match and Gabby Barnes added 16 more. As a team, Pitt-Bradford totaled 84 digs and had 4 players reached double figures. Laura Hildebrand collected 27, while Anderson added 19, Alayna Seggi picked up 12 and Barnes finished with 10. Elizabeth Johnson collected 5 kills on 13 swings and was a part of 4 blocks.
The Panthers finish their regular season with a 16-12 record with an 8-2 record against AMCC opponents. They finish tied with Mount Aloysius for 2nd in the standings, however due to their head to head loss to the Mounties, will take the 3 seed into the AMCC Championship Tournament. They will begin their post-season by hosting a First Round matchup with the 6th seeded LaRoche Redhawks. The game will begin at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, November 6th in KOA Arena.