McKeesport, PA. - Penn State Greater Allegheny Volleyball team (13-7, 6-2) had a big day as they swept Penn State Mont Alto (15-5, 6-2) 3-0 on Saturday afternoon. The Win tied them for first place in the Penn State University Athletic Conference and put them in prime position heading into the final two weeks of the season.
It was also a big day for sophomore Julianna Brill (Mount Jackson, VA./Stonewall Jackson HS) who led the defense with 14 digs giving her 250 for the season to set the single-season dig record at PSUGA. Brill currently ranks fourth all-time with 397 Diggs in her career and is having a career year as the team's libero.
PSUGA came into the contest ready for a fight and showed it early battling back and forth through the first set. PSUGA would get there first advantage on the afternoon when they jumped out to an 11-6 lead. They would hold that for the rest of the set and came away with a key 25-22 first set win.
Mont Alto would fight back in set two, taking five of the first six points, jumping out to a 5-1 lead and PSUGA found themselves behind for the first time in the match. However, head coach Alyssa Finocchi's team battled back scoring 11 of the next ten points and forced a Mont Alto timeout when they took an 11-6 lead. Mont Alto tried to come back, getting as close as 22-19, before PSUGA closed out the set with another 25-22 win taki g a 2-0 lead in the match.
It was the first time this season that PSUGA took two sets against Mont Alto this season after falling twice before by scores of 3-0 and 3-1. They were looking to complete the sweep and pick up their 10th win in a row.
They ended up doing just that taking control early in the third set leading 7-4. It was a back-and-forth set with Mont Alto forcing a win-by-two scenario, but PSUGA was able to hold on and completed the sweep with a 26-24 win.
Alix Ellis (Derry, PA./Derry Area HS) lead the offense with 16 kills on 33 totall attacks while Sueriah Timsah (Mesquite, TX./West Mesquite HS) added nine killls of her own. Freshman Andrea Ghiloni (Granville, OH./Granville HS) continued her strong season with 32 assists as she helped her strikers take good offensive chances.
The win moves PSUGA volleyball into a tie for first place in the PSUAC West Division and brings them one step closer to their first playoff spot since the 2014 season. The win moves PSUGA's magic number two three meaning any combination of three wins by PSUGA or three losses by PSU Dubois would send GA to the PSUAC playoff tournament.
PSUGA is back in action on Tuesday when they take on Carlow on the road in non-conference action. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.