McKeesport, PA. – The Penn State Greater Allegheny Volleyball Team (10-14, 3-7) wrapped up the 2018-2019 regular season on Saturday when they defeated Penn State New Kensington (7-13, 0-8) 3-0. It was PSUGA’s eighth sweep victory of the season and sends this year’s young core into the offseason with some momentum to build upon as they head into 2019-2020.
It was a battle back and forth early on between these two teams in the first set when the score sat at 7-7 in the early stages of the set. PSUGA would score four straight points to pull out to an 11-7 lead, and would finish the set on a roll scoring six of the last nine points of the set to take a 25-17 set win and a 1-0 lead in the match.
Offense proved key in the second set as hitters Alix Ellis (Derry, PA./Derry Area HS) and Kaylee Holtzman (McKeesport, PA./McKeesport HS) led the charge. Holtzman got PSUGA out to a 6-1 lead thanks to six straight serves and Ellis provided four kills as they led the way to a dominant 25-12 victory and a 2-0 match lead. With PSUGA already carrying the momentum in the match, they were looking to end the season strong.
They were able to do just that with a 25-10 win in the final set that gave them the victory and the sweep. PSUGA misses out on the Penn State University Athletic Conference tournament by just a couple of games and showed the talent that this team holds this season and for many years to come.
Ellis finished out her strong freshman campaign with nine kills on 24 total attacks while Holtzman came in with eight kills on 19 total attacks. Back in her role as libero, freshman Kimmy Tinker (Ewing, IL./Benton Consolidated HS) contributed 13 digs on the day tying Ellis for the team lead while Seiblesierra Ili (Barstow, CA./Barstow HS) collected a career high 24 assists in the win.
Saturday was also a day to honor the PSUGA players who will be moving on as Holtzman and Ili both leave the tea to pursue other endeavors. Ili will be returning to the team during the 2020-2021 season after serving time as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Sants. Holtzman is pursuing an education major and hopes to become a high school English teacher one day.
PSUGA will be returning a solid core next season that features eight freshman including Ellis, Tinker, and Sueriah Timsah (Mesquite, TX./West Mesquite HS). Under the leadership of head coach Alyssa Finocchi, the girls will continue to get another year better as they look to compete for a PSUAC playoff spot next season.
The new season is only a short 11 months away as PSUGA prepares to take on Penn State Shenango for their first conference game of 2019-2020 on September 11th 2019. Until then, the future looks bright for the program as they continue to grow and get better throughout the offseason.