McKeesport, PA. – The Penn State Greater Allegheny volleyball team (0-4, 0-0) fought back from being down 2-0 on Monday night, but it wasn’t enough as they fell to Carlow (4-1, 0-0) 3-1. After dropping the first two sets, each by scores of 25-22, you could feel the energy in the Wunderley Gym grow as PSUGA started on the comeback trail.
Things weren’t looking promising early in the third set for PSUGA as Carlow jumped out to a 9-4 lead to begin play. However, PSUGA battled back and brought the set to 11-11 halfway through and took their first lead of the set on a service ace by Juliana Brill (Mount Jackson, VA./Stonewall Jackson HS). The set would continue to go back and forth before Carlow called a timeout with the third set score knotted up at 19-19.
PSUGA ended the third set scoring three of the last four points, and a kill by Alexa Martell (Elizabeth, PA./Elizabeth Forward HS) gave PSUGA the 25-22 set win. It was the team’s first set win against Carlow in two games played and gave PSUGA some confidence showing that they can compete with some of the best in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association.
The fourth set was the most competitive set of the night and the best set played by PSUGA this season. Carlow jumped out to an early 16-11 lead and looked like they had control of the set. However, PSUGA would stay in it and had the score set at 21-19 late in the set. Carlow scored three of the next four points and had PSUGA on the ropes leading 24-20. That is when Sueriah Timsah (Mesquite, TX./West Mesquite HS) stepped into the servers box and lead her team on a four-point run that tied the game at 24-24. Sophomore Alix Ellis (Derry, PA./Derry Area HS) had three of her team leading 25 kills during the run as PSUGA forced the win-by-two scenario.
The two teams traded blows until the score was tied at 27-27 when Carlow got a kill by Cache Street. The Celtics would go on to score the final two points of the set and wrap up the 3-1 win. PSUGA had nothing to be ashamed of scoring at least 20 points in all four sets against Carlow as they continue to improve in non-conference play.
Ellis led the way with a near historic night finishing with 25 kills on 58 total attacks for a .328 hitting percentage. Ellis fell just one kill shy of the single game record of 26 that is held by former lion Tori Johnston who set the mark against PSU-New Kensington in 2015. Timsah finished second on the team with 10 kills and Brill led the defense recording 23 digs.
PSUGA now gets set to open conference play on Wednesday and gained a lot of momentum at the right time. They are trying to start the year 1-0 in conference like they did last year, and will try and build off of tonight’s success to do it.
Tip-off for Wednesday night’s conference opener is scheduled for 7 p.m. inside the Wunderley Gymnasium. Doors will open at 6 p.m. with pre-game ceremonies beginning at 7 p.m.