WHEELING, W.Va. – California (Pa.) advanced to the third round for the seventh year in a row, following a 3-1 victory (25-20, 23-25, 25-19, 25-18) against Gannon on Friday.
With the win, the third-seeded Vulcans improve to 30-7 this season, marking their seventh 30-win campaign in the last eight years.
Senior Ana Almeida had career highs with 16 kills and 23 digs against the Golden Knights as she registered her first career double-double. She entered the match with a combined 21 kills over her last seven matches, highlighted by nine kills in Thursday’s win against Shippensburg.
Senior Brandy Harris recorded her second double-double of the tournament, finishing with 13 kills and 16 digs on Friday. She has combined for 33 kills and 29 digs in the last two matches.
Senior middle hitter Meghan Franz added 12 kills on a .357 hitting percentage, while fellow senior Bridget Bielich posted eight kills and hit at a team-high .412 clip.
The duo of junior Abbey Freund and senior Kelly Fromknecht combined for 45 assists. Fromknecht also totaled three service aces and six blocks, while Freund posted eight digs. Junior libero Molly Delaney recorded 18 digs on Friday, while freshman Mary Lavery finished with six kills and tied her season high of eight blocks.
California opened the match with a 25-20 victory in the first set after winning the last five points.
The Golden Knights evened the match at one with a 25-23 win in the second set despite six kills by Almeida. Trailing by two points early in the set, Gannon mounted a 7-1 rally to take an 11-7 lead before California won four of the next five points to trim the deficit to 12-11. The Vulcans later reclaimed the lead at 17-15 before the Golden Knights seized control of the set with seven-consecutive points en route to the 25-23 victory.
California posted a .341 hitting percentage in the third set as it took a 2-1 lead in the match following a 25-19 win. The Vulcans hit at a .351 clip in the fourth set while clinching the match victory with a 25-18 win.
Gannon finishes the year with a 29-6 overall record after winning the first PSAC Championship in program history.