No. 5 Penn State knocked off defending national champion No. 1 Stanford in emphatic fashion Friday in College Station, upsetting the Cardinal 3-1 (26-24, 25-17, 18-25, 25-19) to open the Texas A&M Tournament.
They swept all three of their matches with ease at the West Virginia Tournament last weekend.
How It Happened
Including Friday’s tilt, a staggering 15 of the 20 matches between Penn State and Stanford all-time have come with both programs ranked inside the top five. In the first of two September showdowns between the two most decorated programs in women’s college volleyball history, Penn State fell behind the Cardinal’s hitting pace early but quickly mounted a rally.
Simone Lee, by far Penn State’s most consistent offensive player, failed to connect on her first five swings, but Ali Frantti and Abby Detering had her back. The Nittany Lions scored five unanswered points with Frantti at the service line to take the lead for the first time, 22-21. They would pull off the first-set comeback, winning 26-24 on Nia Reed’s fourth kill of the night.
Penn State cruised past Kevin Hambly’s Cardinal in the second set, 25-17, as Detering began to heat up offensively, but the Nittany Lions’ hopes of a sweep came up short in the third, 18-25. Frantti, who reached 1,000 career kills last Sunday, and setter Bryanna Weiskircher shortly joined Detering in double figures.
Sophomore Kathryn Plummer was downright dominant for Stanford, tallying a match-high 25 kills on .444 hitting, but Penn State answered yet again in the fourth and final set, 25-19, to punctuate a huge win.
Lee surged late to chip in 10 kills for the Nittany Lions, while Frantti and Haleigh Washington added 10 each and Reed and Heidi Thelen combined for 11 more. Sophomore libero Kendall White was outstanding with 20 digs and three assists.
Player Of The Match
Abby Detering | Senior | Setter/Opposite
The Mentor, Ohio, native was spectacular in Penn State’s upset win, posting a triple-double with 23 assists, 11 kills, 10 digs, and four blocks.
The Nittany Lions (4-0) will face tournament host Texas A&M Saturday at 5:30 p.m. ET. Their rematch with Stanford is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 9 at 6 p.m. in the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge in Champaign, Ill.