McKeesport, PA. – The Penn State Greater Allegheny Volleyball team battled in their Penn State University Athletic Conference opener on Wednesday defeating PSU-Shenango 3-2. After splitting the first four sets, it would come down to a fifth and final set to determine a winner as both teams were firing on all cylinders.
PSUGA and PSU-Shenango would trade the first eight points of the set and the score sat at 4-4 in the early going. The battle continued until freshman Alexa Martell (Elizabeth, PA./Elizabeth Forward HS) stepped in the serving box and led her team on a 2-0 run to give them a 13-11 advantage. Shenango would score one more time before Sam Snashell (Buffalo, NY/Center School for Applied Tech) and Sueriah Timsah (Mesquite, TX./West Mesquite HS) would nail down back-to-back kills giving PSUGA the 15-13 win and the 3-2 victory.
The day did not start in PSUGA’s favor as PSU-Shenango jumped ahead 3-0 early in the first set and rode it out to a 25-18 first set win that had PSUGA down 1-0. GA would have to battle in set two to get back into the game and the teams were tied at 11-11 halfway through the set. Juliana Brill (Mount Jackson, VA./Stonewall Jackson HS) would get her team the advantage leading them on a five-point run that got them ahead 20-12. They closed out the set scoring the final three points and picking up a 25-17 win to tie the game at 1-1.
It was another battle in set three and GA held the late 18-14 advantage as they tried to take control of the match. Martell would help them close out the 25-21 victory with two kills over the final seven points and GA took a 2-1 lead in the match. PSU-Shenango came back and took the fourth set 25-19 forcing the final set.
It was a career night for Martell who led the way with 14 kills on 28 total attacks to go along with three digs leading the offense. Alix Ellis (Derry, PA./Derry Area HS) added 10 kills of her own and finished tied for third with nine digs. Brill led the defense with 17 digs and freshman Andrea Ghiloni (Granville, OH./Granville HS) led with 20 assists and 16 digs.
The PSUGA Volleyball team starts the year 1-0 in conference play for the second year in a row after a tough non-conference schedule. They started 1-0 last season as well after defeating PSU-Mont Alto in their conference opener and finished the year 3-7.
The PSUGA Volleyball team is back in action this Saturday when they head on the road for a tri-match against PSU-Mont Alto and Christendom College. Tip-off for game one is scheduled for 1 p.m. and game two starts at 4 p.m.