Panthers Take Down Penn State-Behrend In Straight Sets

Photo by Erika Helo
Photo by Erika Helo

ERIE, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford women's volleyball team earned a road win as it defeated Penn State-Behrend in straight sets in Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference action Wednesday night.

The Panthers' last win at Penn State-Behrend came on Sept. 28, 2011, also in straight sets.

"It was a big win, and to do it in three sets against such a great program on the road says a lot about how we're playing and progressing," Head Coach Tom Roof said. "We were really great defensively, shutting down their big hitters. When we can do what we did tonight, we will be very good."

The match got off to a close start as the two teams battled in a tight first set.

Penn State-Behrend controlled the lead for a good portion of the first set, but the Panthers hung around and eventually tipped the scale with the score tied, 18-18. 

A Behrend attack error, a kill from Payton Orzech and a service ace from Laura Hildebrand gave Pitt-Bradford a 21-18 lead the Panthers would never look back from.

Orzech later setup Ally Easton for a kill that gave the Panthers the 25-23 victory in set one.

Once again in set two, Behrend had their rhythm and gathered an early 11-6 lead.

But the Panthers came back with Hildebrand at the serve, bringing the score to 11-10. 

Later with Riley Anderson serving, Pitt-Bradford scored eight straight points and took a commanding 19-12 lead.

Erin Fagan was on a roll for the Panthers, doing it all to put her team ahead.

Fagan earned a kill to tie the match at 12-12 and had blocks on three-straight possessions to aid the rally.

"Erin had a fantastic game for us," Roof said. "Tonight, like the senior middle she is, she stepped up when we needed it the most and knew what to do to help secure the win."

UPB eventually went on to win set two, 25-17.

In the third set, Pitt-Bradford held a large lead late, at one point ahead, 19-13.

Penn-State Behrend then got a couple back, but eventually, Pitt-Bradford went up, 24-17, one point away from sealing the victory.

Four-straight Behrend points made it close, but a kill from Emily Cleveland gave Pitt-Bradford the victory and its second AMCC win of the season. 

Anderson and Cleveland led the way with 10 kills apiece, while Orzech assisted 21.

Hildebrand led the Panthers with 11 digs, while Fagan had six blocks assisted and Katie Treat had five.

Pitt-Bradford will look to win its third-straight conference match as they head to Franciscan on Saturday for a 1 p.m. start. The Panthers will be back home for their first match at the KOA Arena since Sept. 6 on Tuesday, Oct. 3 as they play host to D'Youville.