Simone Lee and Heidi Thelen led No. 6 Penn State to a stress-free sweep of Tennessee-Martin (25-13, 25-13, 25-8) to open the West Virginia Tournament.
Friday’s match in Morgantown marked the first time in five years Russ Rose’s Nittany Lions started their season on the road.
How It Happened
Rose selected redshirt junior Bryanna Weiskircher as his starting setter, so Abby Detering’s role appears to have morphed into more of a right side. The senior from Mentor, Ohio, attacks the ball well and can shift down and pass when Weiskircher, who notched 27 assists, takes a breather.
After capturing the first two sets with ease, Penn State went on a 15-0 run to open the third frame. Lee stayed true to her All-American form, overpowering UT-Martin’s defense for a match-high 10 kills in the victory. Thelen enjoyed a solid evening herself, nearly matching Lee’s output with nine of her own.
Freshmen Cami May and Michaela Putnicki made their collegiate debuts at middle blocker and outside hitter, respectively, while senior Jennifer Halterman, a Penn State Mont Alto transfer, also saw some action late in the third set.
Player Of The Match
Simone Lee | Senior | Outside hitter
The Menomonee Falls Wis., native led the way in digs too with eight and added three blocks for good measure.
The Nittany Lions (1-0) have a doubleheader on tap Saturday with 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. tilts versus Delaware and tournament host West Virginia.