By: Matylda Zamudio
Monaca, Pa. -- In the team's third match of the week, the Penn State Beaver women's volleyball faced off against conference rivals Penn State Greater Allegheny at home on Saturday afternoon. The Lady Lions are 0-2 in the conference standings so far, this season and look to earn their first conference win against the ladies of Greater Allegheny. Today's match is the first of back-to-back conference matches for the weekend.
As the first set commenced, Beaver and Allegheny played each other tough, which resulted in several lead changes in the early minutes of the game. Down 13-14 half-way through the set, Beaver called a time-out. Then, Beaver went on a 3-point run with Amanda Mike scoring a kill to put Beaver up 17-14. The team looked good passing the ball, and Emily did a great job setting up assists to help Beaver stay in the lead towards the end of the set. Maria Slater scored a kill and gave Beaver its final point to win the first set 25-21.
Beaver struggled briefly during the first minutes of the second set, which allowed Greater Allegany to get an early 2-0 lead. Allegany continued to pressure Beaver and went up 8-4. But the Lady Lions got focused on defense, and Allegany began to make errors, which allowed Beaver cut-down Allegany's lead down to one point (8-9). The tight match continued, and Beaver called another time-out at 9-11. But the Lady Lions fought back and went on a 5-point run, giving the team the lead at 14-11. In the final minutes of the second set, Beaver remained in the lead at 23-18, but Allegany pushed back and cut Beaver's lead to one point (24-23), and another time-out was called. However, Allegheny served the ball out of bounds, giving Beaver the set-win at 25-23.
The momentum from being up by two sets followed Beaver into the third set, and the team took an early 4-0 lead, which caused Allegheny taking a time-out. In the middle of the set, Beaver sustained the lead 12-6. But the tides soon turned for the ladies as Allegheny went on a 5-point run, severing Beaver's lead to one point (12-11). With the help of a mid-set kill from Brooke Tomasko, Beaver increased the lead to 15-11. But once again, Allegheny came within striking distance and cut Beaver's lead to two points towards the end of the set (22-20). Beaver took another time-out. The teams went back and forth on scoring, but Allegheny prevailed and won this close-set 27-25.
Only one set away from a win, the ladies looked to end the game in this set. The teams were evenly matched as the set progressed, staying within a couple points of each other for the entire set. However, Beaver dug deep and pulled away with a 26-24 set-win, and a final score of 4-1, giving Beaver its first conference win for the season.
Stephanie Stadjuhar dominated on both sides of the ball, earning 14 kills, 11 digs, and 1 ace. Also on offense, Brooke Tomasko scored 11 kills and Amanda Mike scored 10 kills. Other notable performances for Beaver included Emily Keener with a whopping 36 assists for the day and Alexis Albrecht, who led the defense with 13 digs.
Saturday's win puts Beaver at an overall 6-5 record for the season and 1-2 in the conference standings. The Lady Lions are on the road on Sunday, Sept. 23, where they will face another conference rival, Penn State New Kensington. Game time is at 12 p.m.