Women’s Volleyball Rallies To Defeat No. 11 Minnesota
Penn State women’s volleyball (#4) played in a packed Rec Hall last night against a tough Minnesota team (#11). It was a hard-fought match but Penn State rallied to defeat the Gophers in five sets, 3-2.
Ariel Scott led the team with a season-high 25 kills with Katie Slay right behind her with a career-high 16 kills. Slay also had ten blocks brining her career total to 502, moving to eighth on the Penn State all-time list. Deja McClendon and Megan Courtney also each had a double-double, McClendon’s fourth of season.
Penn State started the first set strong with an 8-2 run but Minnesota fought back to cut Penn State’s lead to 12-10. The Nittany Lions responded with a 7-2 run and went on to win the set 25-19.
The second set was close but the Nittany Lions were unsuccessful as they lost 25-23. Penn State and Minnesota were tied 8-8, but the Gophers broke away on a 4-0 run. Penn State rallied to make it 17-16 but the Gophers fought on with four straight kills. Penn State showed life late in the set and went on a 5-1 run to cut Minnesota’s lead to 22-20, but it wasn’t enough and they lost on an attacking error, tying the match at one set each.
The Nittany Lions continued to fight in the third period, trailing for most of the set. Kills from Slay and Scott and blocks by Courtney and Slay gained the Lions a two-point lead late in the set at 20-18. The Gophers responded with three kills but Penn State took the next four points to win the third set 25-21 and go ahead 2-1 in the match.
The Nittany Lions were unable to win the match in the fourth set, losing 25-22. At one point in the set Minnesota led 14-7 but Penn State went on a 4-1 run. The Gophers came out strong after a timeout and were able to pull ahead 20-16. The Nittany Lions Lions cut the lead to two but it was not enough and Minnesota went on to win the set.
Penn State came out fired up in the fifth and final set, starting with a 6-1 run. Minnesota showed that it still had fight and brought the match set within one at 11-10. Two kills by Slay and a block by Scott was all the Lions needed to win the set and the match by a score of 15-11.
The win was Penn State’s fourth straight conference victory. The Nittany Lions have moved to 13-2 on the season with a 4-1 conference record. The team returns to action on Saturday when it takes on No. 19 Wisconsin at home at 8:30 p.m.