McKeesport, PA. - The Penn State Greater Allegheny volleyball team (17-9, 7-4) hosted a tri-match on Saturday and split the day falling to Penn State Fayette (21-3, 10-1) 3-1 and defeating Kent State Tuscarawas (9-11,0-0) 3-0. The loss in game one makes PSUGA the number three seed in the Penn State University Athletic Conference playoffs on a day when another record was broken.
Freshman Andrea Ghiloni (Granville, OH./Granville HS) combined to pick up 73 assists in the two games helping her to break the single-season assist record at PSUGA. Ghiloni has 607 assists this season, breaking the old record set in the 2014 season and previously held by Adrielle Brisbon.
The day did not start well for PSUGA as they fell behind 11-0 in set one against Penn State Fayette. The deficit would be too much for PSUGA to overcome and they fell 25-15 as Fayette took a 1-0 lead in the match.
The second set saw PSU Fayette take another early lead and they rode it to another 25-15 victory and put PSUGA behind 2-0. PSUGA came out motivated in set three scoring seven of the first eight points to take a 7-1 lead; however, Fayette would fight back and tie things up as the teams went back and forth until the score sat at 24-24 late in the set.
The teams traded the first four points in the win-by-two scenario before PSUGA finished it off with a 28-26 win to move the score to 2-1 and stay alive in the match.
The fourth set was another close bout between the two teams, but in the end Fayette would come out on top 25-21 and end the match with a 3-1 win. Alix Ellis (Derry, PA./Derry Area HS) led the offense with 19 kills on 39 attacks as the team fell to 7-4 in PSUAC play.
The loss forces PSUGA to go on the road for their first round playoff match earning the number three seed in this year's tournament. With their playoff fate set, PSUGA would head into the second match of the day against Kent State Tuscarawas looking to get momentum back on their side.
The first set went all PSUGA's way with Ellis picking up six kills and leading her team to a 25-18 victory and a 1-0 match lead. The second set was closer, but once again, PSUGA was able to hold on to pick up a 25-21 victory and a 2-0 lead in the match.
Kent State Tuscarawas would not go down without a fight, making the third set close and forcing a win-by-two scenario. After the teams traded the first four points to bring the score to 26-26, PSUGA ended the match scoring the final two points and picked up a 28-26 win.
Ellis added to her impressive day picking up 19 kills while Sueriah Timsah (Mesquite, TX./West Mesquite HS) added 12 of her own in the win. Along with her breaking the single-season assist record, Ghiloni had a strong day on defense and led the way with 23 digs in the win.
PSUGA now heads in the final regular season game, trying to enter the playoffs with momentum on their side. The team will take on Penn State New Kensington in their final regular-season matchup on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
When playoffs begin on Thursday, PSUGA will likely face Penn State Beaver, a tough opponent, in the quarterfinal round.