McKeesport, Pa. – The Penn State Greater Allegheny Volleyball Team (8-11, 6-8) has a big matchup on Wednesday as they look to keep their playoff hopes alive when they face off against Penn State New Kensington (6-12, 5-9) at 7 p.m.
PSUGA still has a shot at making the PSUAC playoffs after dropping their last two matches to Penn State Fayette and Penn State Beaver, however, they would have to win both of their remaining games to give them the best chance possible of sneaking into the playoffs. It has been a roller coaster of a season for head coach Alyssa Finnochi and her team, but they can make up for a poor start to the season with a couple of big wins this week.
Their last time out, they played some of their best volleyball of the season as they took Penn State University Athletic Conference powerhouse Penn State Beaver all the way to the deciding fifth set before they fell three sets to two. Beaver was in control early with a 25-16 win in set one, however, PSUGA would take a two sets to one lead after winning sets two and three 25-23 and 25-22 respectively. However, it would not be enough as a 25-22 set win for Beaver in the fourth set would propel them to the 15-9 victory in the fifth set that gave them the match.
Laura Vazquez Diaz (San Juan, Puerto Rico/Cupey Maria Montessori) lead her team with 34 total attacks on the day and was second with four kills. Kaylee Holtzman (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) had a team leading seven kills on the afternoon and was second on the team with 31 total attacks. Hayley Maksin (Port Vue, Pa./South Allegheny) lead the defensive side of things with a team high 24 digs in the contest.
The loss moved PSUGA to 8-11 overall and a 6-8 record in conference play, good for 8th place in the PSUAC. They would need to win each of their remaining games and get at least one loss from both PSU-Schuylkill and PSU-Lehigh Valley in order to make it to the PSUAC playoff tournament.
PSUGA might have caught PSU-New Kensington at the right time as they have dropped each of their last three contests including a three sets to one loss last time out to Penn State Fayette. PSU-New Kensington fell behind 2-1 early on, but picked up a win in the third set 25-19 to force a fourth set. However, they could not get it done as PSU-Fayette closed out the match with a 25-10 victory.
PSUGA has faced Penn State New Kensington once already this season and fell three sets to one inside the Wunderly Gymnasium. Overall, however, this series has gone PSUGA’s way as they have a record of 11-3 against PSU-New Kensington dating back to the 2011/12 season.
The match on Wednesday is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. The PSUGA volleyball team will then return home on Monday October 23rd where they will play their final regular season home game against Penn State Fayette to close out the 2017/18 season.