While you were watching the election: Lady Bald Eagles defeat Pitt-Johnsown 3-1

LOCK HAVEN — Sometimes in the world of sports you just have to dig down deep and believe in yourself. The Lock Haven University volleyball team did both of those things Tuesday night at Thomas Field House.

For LHU, it seemed like it was jumping from the frying pan into the fire Tuesday night when Pitt-Johnstown (21-8) invaded the confines of Thomas Field House for a PSAC match with the Lady Eagles.

Lock Haven entered the clash with a mark of 5-18 that included four straight 0-3 setbacks to California (PA), Seton Hill, Clarion and IUP, while the Lady Mountain Cats came cruising into town riding a 5-match win streak, UPJ having won 13 of their last 15 matches.

After 105 minutes of Division II volleyball, PSAC style, the Eagle ladies clawed the ‘Cats for a 3-1 win before a loud crowd at the House of Noise.

“I thought our girls were outstanding tonight,” said LHU head coach Shannon Gerencir. “It was just a total team effort. Everybody played their position as well as they could have. They played together, they were in sync and nothing phased them. Even when we got down, they kept battling and battling until they came out on top.”

In the opening set, UPJ scored five of the first points, but LHU battled back to earn ties t 18-18, 20-20, 21-21 and 24-24 before finally winning the set 28-26 to snap a 0-12 streak in sets spanning their last four matches.

In set 2, the two teams were deadlocked at 11-all before UPJ went on a 7-2 run to lead 18-13. Not to run away and hide, the Lady Eagles battled to get within three (19-22) before UPJ put the game way down the stretch by scoring three of the final four points for a 25-20 win.

In the third set, UPJ led by as many as six before LHU battled back to tie the score at 24-all before pulling out a 27-25 win to take a 2-1 lead in the match, setting up the fourth and final set that carried the Lady Eagles to the win.

“You could just see some of the frustrations on the UPJ players faces when we won the second set,” said Gerencir. “One of the things we talked about was how their frustration level and our relaxation level increased when we went up 2-1. I think that is when UPJ felt the pressure of us coming at them.”

In the fourth set, LHU took the early lead and they steadily increased their advantage to lead by seven (21-14) before slamming the door shut on the Mountain Cats by the final of 25-20.

The entire LHU team played outstanding volleyball, led by Chloe Williams, Sarah Gomish and Breanna McDonald.

“Williams is only a freshman and she is a strong hitter,” said Gerencir. “She is not very tall, but she can really elevate to get off the floor and put the ball down. Dombrowski had some really huge hits for us and that really made a difference in the game for us and McDonald did an outstanding job serving.”

The Lady Eagles will close out the season this weekend with a pair of games at the Field House. Friday’s match will be against Shippensburg at 7 p.m. before they put the lid on the season against Millersville Sunday in a 1 p.m. matinee match.

LHU By The Numbers:

Kills: Sarah Gomish 12, Gabrielle Stick 11

Assists: Olivia Sass 22, Kristen Nealon 12

Digs: Annie Dombrowski 29, Sydney Belcastro 20, Gomish 12