Penn State Behrend Wins 2008 ECAC South Volleyball Championship
The Penn State Behrend volleyball team captured the 2008 ECAC
Division III South Volleyball Championship, taking the title after
a come-from-behind 3-2 win over runner-up Cabrini College on
November 16 in Stevenson, Maryland. Behrend (25-9) dropped a
tight first game 24-26, before bouncing back for a 25-21 win in the
second. Cabrini (22-14) answered with a 25-21 win of its own
in the third game before Behrend took the fourth 25-19 to set up
the winner-take-all fifth game. The deciding game was tied
8-8 before the blue and white exploded for a 7-1 run to close it
out, clinching the title with a 15-9 win and starting the
Senior defensive specialist Brittany Hennessy (Hopewell/Hopewell) closed out her career by racking up a match-high 30 digs in the championship match. Hennessy, Behrend's all-time leader in digs with 2,160 in her career, was awarded the ECAC Most Outstanding Player award for the tournament. Junior Brooke Gallentine (Mt. Pleasant/Southmoreland) dished out a season-high 51 assists, to go with ten digs and three aces, with a big ace at the end of game five.
Freshman Lauren Dalton (Cochranton/Cochranton) hammered 15 kills in the match, including four winners in the fifth game. Junior hitters Carissa Johnston (Cambridge Springs/Cambridge Springs) and Sheila Ogden (Grove City/Grove City) were a big part of the offense as Johnston had 12 kills and Ogden had 11 kills in the final. Sophomore Danielle Woods (Pittsburgh/Baldwin) played huge down the stretch and totaled ten kills with 17 digs against the Cavaliers. Freshmen Liz Emerick (Hopewell/Hopewell) and Stefanie Kelley (Moon Township/Moon) came through with key plays and combined for 23 digs and six aces.
One day earlier, in the ECAC semifinal match on November 15, #3 seed Behrend cruised past #2 seed Widener 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 25-18) hitting .270 as a team. Freshman Danielle Kindle (Erie/McDowell) smashed eight kills on 16 attempts with zero errors and also tallied five blocks. Johnston had ten kills to go with six blocks of her own, while Hennessy finished with 23 digs. Freshman Kait Bianco (Aliquippa/Center) smacked five kills on ten attempts in the win over Widener (26-10).
In the second semifinal #4 seed Cabrini College upset host and #1 seed Stevenson University with a 3-0 win (25-20, 25-23, 25-22) to set up the championship contest with the Behrend Lions.
The ECAC volleyball championship is the first for the Penn State Behrend volleyball program, and this was the team's second ever tournament appearance. In 2006, the blue and white won a school-record 29 matches and went 2-1 in the ECAC South Championship to finish as the runners-up.