ERIE, Pa. – The Franciscan volleyball team fell to Penn St.-Behrend 3-0 on the road, Saturday afternoon, behind set scores of 25-18, 25-20, 25-17.
With the score tied 7-7 in the first set thanks to a block from freshman Meghan Bayer, the Lions used a 6-2 run to take the lead 13-9 and did not relinquish the lead for the rest of the set. Franciscan got back to within two with an ace from Sydney Riley at 14-12, but Penn St.-Behrend staved off any runs from Franciscan and took the opening set, 25-18.
The Lady Barons held a 6-4 lead to open the second thanks to a kill from Maria Ciola but the Lions used a 6-1 run to take the lead 10-7. Monica Rigaud and Ciola sandwiched a pair of kills around a Lions' kill to get the serve back and a kill from Anna Telepak pulled Franciscan to within one, 11-10. The two teams traded the next three points until Franciscan tied it at 12-12 and eventually took the lead 14-13 thanks to a Ciola service ace.
After a Behrend timeout, the Lions served five-straight points to retake the lead for good, 18-14. Franciscan had a late 3-0 run behind a pair of Riley aces but the Lions closed out the set with a 6-1 run to win 25-20.
Once again, the Lady Barons got out to an early lead in the third as Franciscan led 8-6 after another kill from Telepak. After the Lions took a brief 11-9 lead, Rigaud's kill and a Lion attack error tied the game 11-11. Behrend then took control of the final set as the Lions led 16-11. Franciscan continued to battle and got within two, 17-15, but Behrend used a 4-1 run and a 4-0 run to close out the set 25-17 and win the match.
Ciola led all players with 13 kills and finished with 14 digs, her sixth double-double of the year. Sophomore Maddy Demos finished the day with 15 digs while Riley handed out 26 assists and had five service aces.
"I told the girls after the match that we just have to keep playing our game," remarked head coach Kelly Herrmann. "We are battling some injuries and illnesses so have to go with a little bit of a different lineup. I reminded the girls we can win with anyone on the court, we just have to play fast and aggressive."
Franciscan returns to the court on Wednesday as the Lady Barons travel to Pitt.-Greensburg in a key AMCC matchup at 7pm.