MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – Penn State Harrisburg's perfect 5-0 home record took its first hit of the 2012 campaign thanks to the near perfect play of North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) powerhouse Gallaudet. The Lions dropped a 3-0 decision to the defending league champions at the Capital Union Building on Monday night, Oct. 16 by scores of 25-8, 25-10 and 25-10. Despite hanging with the visitors early in each set, the Bison used late runs to clinch the team's 23rd win of the fall.
Gallaudet picked up the first point of the evening but a Miranda Jumper (Lebanon, Pa. / Lebanon) kill tied things at 1-1 in the early going. The Bison went on a mini-run to take a 6-1 advantage before a kill from Chidere Igwe (West Orange, N.J. / West Orange) stopped the bleeding and got the Lions back on track. The blue and white were still in the thick of things when Penn State Harrisburg Head Coach Bob Creason used his first timeout trailing 12-6. From there, the Bison were smooth as silk and took advantage of the home team's unforced errors, finishing the set on a 12-2 run.
To view video of one of Igwe's four kills on the night, click here.
The Lions came out of the gate strong in set number two and took an early 2-0 lead. Things remained close through the first few volleys but just as they did in the first set, the Bison made Penn State Harrisburg pay for service and hitting errors and used a crucial 14-5 run to take a 2-0 advantage into the final game.
Check out more video of another Penn State Harrisburg point by clicking here.
The blue and white got on the board first for the second set in a row, fell behind before reclaiming the lead at 4-3 but eventually were overpowered by Gallaudet's well-tuned offense.
"They're just so smooth," said Creason about the Bison after the match. "I thought the key to the game was for us to make good passes so we could take a swing at it right away. Once they got us back on our heels and made us play defense that was it."
Penn State Harrisburg managed just 12 kills on the night with Igwe and sophomore Jess Sinex (Oxford, Pa. / Oxford) leading the way with four each.
Jumper was the team's standout defensive player against the Bison's high-powered offense and dug out a team-high eight balls while making no reception errors. Sophomore Monica Bishop (Mechanicsburg, Pa. / Mechanicsburg) recorded five digs while Olivia Umoren (Quincy, Mass. / North Quincy), Melissa Ganz (Weston, Fl. / Cypress Bay) and Katie Shek (Old Bridge, N.J. / Old Bridge) adding four apiece. Bishop and Igwe combined for the Lions' only block of the match.
The loss dropped Penn State Harrisburg to 7-17 on the season and 1-7 in NEAC play. It was the team's first defeat at the CUB this fall. The Lions have one last shot to make some noise in league play when they take part in the final conference crossover event of the year this weekend at Penn State Abington.