Pittsburgh, PA -- Beaver loses tough battle in their final regular season game to Carlow University, 3-1.
In their final regular season game of the 2016 season, Beaver traveled to Carlow University who is a top 10 team in the USCAA Coach's Poll.
In the first set of action Beaver jumped out to an early 7-0 lead on aggressive serving from junior Ryanne "Roxy" Kie. Despite an early lead, Beaver struggled to keep up with the fast paced hitters of Carlow and eventually found themselves tied at 10-10. The Lady Lions and the Celtics then exchanged points for the next few rallies as Carlow edged ahead by a score of 17-14. For the remainder of the set, Beaver struggled on serve recieve and fell by a set score of 25-15.
Beaver started slow in the second set, but quickly found a rhythm and took an 8-3 lead after a pair of tough serves from Julianna Kon and solid work from the front row. They continued to advance their lead to 13-8 on a run of serves from Morgan Cannister, but then let Carlow back into the game slowly. With the score tied at 14-14, the teams battled for points with neither side giving up more than two at a time to take the score to 23-20 in favor of Carlow. With the set coming down to the wire, Beaver won a point on a service error by Carlow to keep the spread at 2 (23-21), but then lost the ball right away on an aggressive Carlow attack. Despite their best defensive efforts Beaver couldn't muster the win and fell 25-21.
With both teams fired up heading into the third set, they exchanged points for the first several points taking the score to 3-3. Aggressive play from Cannister and Brooke Tomasko gave Beaver a 2 point lead, 6-4. Carlow was quick to tie the set at 6-6 and then push ahead by four points which would be the biggest Beaver deficit of this set. The Lady Lions battled to tie the game at 17 and then took the lead back 18-17, after a long rally. Beaver kept their momentum off of a pair of serves by Cannister, but Carlow quickly answered with two points of their own to tie the game at 19-19. After a missed serve by Carlow, Beaver took a slight two point lead as they built momentum, forcing Carlow to take a late timeout. Coming out of the timeout, Roxy Kie aced the serve recieve of Carlow to take a three point lead (22-19). Again Carlow battled back to tie the game at 22, but this time the Lady Lions refused let this be the final set of the match. After another service error by the Celtics, Beaver's offense capitalized on the opportunity as they won the set on back-to-back kills from Tomasko finishing the set with the 25-22 win.
With the momentum in their favor the Lady Lions looked to make a statement in the fourth set, tying the game at 5-5 after dropping a few points early. Carlow, who was clearly refocused, quickly increased their lead to 7 (12-5) with aggressive serving. Finally Cannister was able to get a kill to narrow their lead to 6 (12-6). That led to two more Beaver points and another kill for Cannister. After a quick sideout, Beaver regained possession on a missed serve by Carlow and strung together three more points to narrow their deficit to 3 (14-11) on an ace by Cannister. But just as they had all evening, Carlow pushed the tempo and was aggressive from the service line as well as at the net, forcing the defense of Beaver to struggle. Despite the best defensive efforts of junior, Julianna Kon who played outstanding defense, Carlow went on a nine point run to finish the match as they went on to win the final set 25-11.
Brooke Tomasko led the team offsensively hitting .312 with 7 kills on the night, she was followed by Cannister who hit .227 with 8 kills. Roxy Kie led the team in aces with 3, she was followed by Cannister who added 2 aces to her season total. As a whole, the team, despite an injury plagued week, played extremely well and Coach Bertges is looking forward to their first round playoff game where they will likely see a re-match with Lehigh Valley on October 29th.