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Lions' rally falls just short in five-set loss to Penn State Abington

Lions' rally falls just short in five-set loss to Penn State Abington

BRYN ATHYN, Pa. – The Bryn Athyn College women's volleyball team fell behind two sets to none in its non-conference match against Penn State Abington. The Lions rallied back to win the next two sets to force a deciding set. Bryn Athyn dropped the final set 15-12 to suffer a 3-2 loss (25-15, 25-17, 23-25, 21-25, 15-12) to Penn State Abington in Asplundh Field House.

Briana Cliney led Bryn Athyn (2-8) with 15 kills on just 26 attempts and a .500 hitting percentage. It was Cliney's best hitting percentage of the season.

Hannah Dewees contributed 14 kills and 16 digs, while Jenessa Lombardi had a career night with 43 assists and 19 digs—both career highs.

The Lions set season highs in kills (55), assists (50), and digs (84). Five Lions had at least 10 digs.

Penn State Abington (6-10) controlled the first set thanks to a .357 hitting percentage compared to .040 for Bryn Athyn. The Nittany Lions broke up a tight start to the set by going on a 10-2 surge to move ahead 15-6. Penn State Abington took a set-high 24-14 lead on a Bryn Athyn error.

Bryn Athyn began set two by scoring three of the first four points. After Penn State Abington claimed a 9-6 lead, Bryn Athyn—led by two kills each by Lombardi and Cliney—went on an 8-4 run to reclaim a one-point lead (14-13). The Nittany Lions would move ahead two sets to zero by ending the set on a 12-4 tear.

With Bryn Athyn trailed 10-9 in the third, Lombardi served up three of her six service aces during a run of five straight points—that also included kills from Cliney and Juritsch—to grab a 14-10 lead. A Dewees kill later in the set pushed the Lion advantage to a set-high six points (21-15). Bryn Athyn had to hold off Penn State Abington late in the set as the Nittany Lions rallied to cut the gap to 24-23. Cliney's fourth and final kill of the set ended the rally and the third set.

The Lions recorded 13 kills and only three errors in the fourth set, but had to use a late 5-0 run to erase a 21-20 deficit and level the match at two sets each. The fourth set featured 12 ties and four lead changes. Cliney led the Lion offense in the set with five kills.

Bryn Athyn would never lead in the final set even though the Lions forced eight ties. Penn State Abington ended the match by snapping a 12-all tie with the final three points.

Katharine Costello recorded a match-high 33 kills on 81 swings for Penn State Abington. Jennifer McAnaney added 17 kills and a match-best 25 digs.

Bryn Athyn returns to action on Tuesday, Oct. 1 against visiting Gwynedd Mercy at 7 p.m.