NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. - The Penn State New Kensington volleyball team entered Tuesday's match on a hot streak, winning five of its past six matches. Playing against DuBois, one of the top teams in the Penn State University Athletic Conference, the homestanding Lions fell in straight sets, 25-21, 25-23, and 25-19. With the setback, New Ken's record in PSUAC action stands at 0-7, and 6-9 overall. Conversely, DuBois improves to 7-1 in PSUAC action, and 15-4 overall.
In the opening set, DuBois scored the first six points, and also held an 8-1 edge. New Kensington showed its resiliency, though, as the home squad pulled within one point, at 12-11. The catalyst for the surge was Brittany Kotvas (Pittsburgh, Pa/Plum), who was on the service line for four consecutive points. Although the visitors increased their lead later in the set, five straight points by New Kensington kept it within striking distance. Ultimately, though, DuBois closed out the set to take the early advantage in the match.
In the second set, DuBois broke serve to score first, but New Kensington gained its first lead, at 2-1. Six straight points by the visitors put DuBois in command, however, and it kept the upper hand for the majority of the set. Trailing 23-18, New Kensington notched five straight points, keyed by strong serves from Janet Surma (Lower Burrell, Pa/Burrell) to pull even. DuBois broke serve to regain the advantage, however, and then scored on the serve to close out the set.
The third and final set began with DuBois scoring nine consecutive points on the serve. New Ken responded with a four-point surge of its own, though, and later pulled within a point, at 14-13. DuBois surged once again, though, capturing the match in straight-sets.
In the setback, Kaylea Flick (Murrysville, Pa/Franklin Regional) led New Ken with 12 kills, while Kotvas added six kills, five aces and three blocks. Meanwhile, Lindsey Hessom (Leechburg, Pa/Kiski Area) dished out a match-best 21 assists, and Surma, Erin Tumas (Vandergrift, Pa/Kiski Area) and Cora Rejniak (Gibsonia, Pa/Deer Lakes) each provided eight digs.
DuBois was paced by Allison Easton, who had a game-high 15 kills, Britany English, who had 11 assists and five aces, and Skylar Ceprish, who contributed 12 digs.
Penn State New Kensington returns to action for a nonconference tilt on Thursday, when the Lions travel to play Westmoreland County Community College in Youngwood at 7:00 p.m.
Written by Sean Meyers