PITTSBURGH – Junior Desiree Ates (Regina, Saskatchewan) posted a team-high seven kills, but the University of New Hampshire volleyball team fell to No. 2 Penn State, 3-0, Saturday morning to close out play at the University of Pittsburgh Invitational. Set scores in the match were 14-25, 11-25 and 11-25.
Senior Amy Keding (Northbrook, Ill.), who was selected to the all-tournament team, followed up her 22-kill performance against Miami (OH) with four kills and four digs against the Lions.
Junior Jansasn Falcusan (Plymouth, Mich.) recorded a team-high 11 assists while senior Lauren Laquerre also chipped in with six digs and four kills.
In the opening set, New Hampshire (0-7) hung tough with Penn State (4-1), combining a Laquerre kill with a pair of Lion errors to pull within a point, 4-3. Penn State then stretched its advantage to six but the Wildcats answered back with a kill by sophomore Destiny Tolliver (Rochester, Mich.) to cut the lead to 11-6. After a 12-5 run, the Lions were two points away from victory at 23-11, but the Wildcats would not make it easy as a Morgan Thatcher (Brockton, Mass.) kill kicked off three straight at 23-14. Penn State then closed it out for the 25-14 win to go up 1-0 in the match.
The teams played evenly in the early goings of the second set, as kills by Keding and Ates fueled the Wildcats to a 2-2 showing, but the Lions answered with a 12-2 run for the 14-4 advantage. UNH responded with a 5-2 run, highlighted by another Ates kill, before the Lions closed out the set for the 25-11 win and the 2-0 match advantage.
In the third set, the Wildcats went right to work for two quick points capped off by a Laquerre kill, but the Lions answered with a 6-1 run for the 8-3 lead. UNH then chipped away at the lead behind a pair of Ates kills to trim the deficit to 9-6. Penn State extended its advantage to double digits, 20-10, and went on to claim the set by 25-11 for the victory.
New Hampshire returns to action Sept. 6 (7 p.m.) at Northeastern University.