McKeesport, PA. – The Penn State Greater Allegheny Volleyball team (18-10, 8-4) is heading to Virginia Beach, VA. for their first run at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National tournament in program history. They will open their tournament play on Thursday morning when they face the #1 seed Cincinnati-Clermont (28-6, 0-0) at 9:30 a.m. inside the Virginia Beach Field House.
PSUGA is coming off one of their most successful seasons in recent history. They finished with 18 wins and made the Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) playoffs for the first time in the last five seasons, finishing as the conference’s #3 seed. They went into Penn State Beaver for their quarterfinal round match-up and, despite a hard-fought battle, had their season cut short with a 3-1 loss.
After battling to an 11-11 score midway through the first set, PSUGA went on an 8-2 run that pulled them ahead 19-13 in the later part of the set. PSU-Beaver tried to fight back, but PSUGA was able to hold them off and pick up the 25-17 set win to get out to a 1-0 lead. The next two sets both went Beaver’s way as they picked up wins of 25-16 and 25-17 to take a 2-1 lead heading into the fourth set.
PSUGA tried to keep the game alive in the fourth set battling to a 24-24 score late and forcing a win-by-two scenario. However, Beaver would end it taking advantage of two attack errors from PSUGA and won fourth set 26-24 to help them pick up their 3-1 win. Alix Ellis (Derry, PA./Derry Area HS) led the way with 10 kills on 26 total attacks in the loss.
It has been another great season for Ellis, who leads the team with 302 kills entering tournament play and ranks fifth in the USCAA this year. She will be looked at to lead the offense as PSUGA looks to make a run towards their first-ever USCAA National Championship. Helping Ellis out will be fellow sophomore Sueriah Timsah (Mesquite, TX./West Mesquite HS) who has been all over the court for PSUGA. Timsah ranks second on the team in both kills (227) and Digs (249) while leading the team with 752 total attacks.
Standing in their way in the first match-up of the tournament is a Cincinnati-Clermont team that comes in as one of the favorites to win the National Championship. Of their 28 wins this season, 17 have come in 3-0 matches including 3-0 wins over #2 seeded Johnson & Whales, #3 seeded PSU-Fayette, #4 seeded PSU-Beaver. UC Clermont is led by a strong defensive presence with Katie Holland leading the way with a USCAA high 642 digs this season.
PSUGA has only matched up with Cincinnati-Clermont one other time in program history and has a record of 0-1. Their last game came on September 1st, 2012 when UC Clermont won a best of three match 2-0. Former Lion Audra Besnak led the way with two kills in the game while Corrine Wilson added two digs.
Tip-off for Thursday’s USCAA National Tournament Pool Play match is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. at the Virginia Beach Field House. You can watch the action live by clicking here.