Penn State Women’s Volleyball Goes 1-1 In Weekend Road Games
The Penn State women’s volleyball team (15-2, 3-1) fell victim to the No. 8 Nebraska Cornhuskers this past Friday, but took out its frustration in its next matchup against the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Friday’s matchup against the Cornhuskers was fairly one-sided after the first set. Despite a brilliant performance from freshman Ali Frantti, who led the Nittany Lions with 19 kills while hitting .486, Penn State’s serving woes allowed Nebraska to capitalize and run away with the match. There were multiple points throughout the match where the Nittany Lions could have gotten back in it, but fell short each time.
On the defensive side of things, Dominique Gonzalez and Lacey Fuller both notched 17 and 13 digs, respectively, while Nia Grant added five blocks.
The Nittany Lions opened up the match looking fairly strong, jumping out to an early 10-3 lead in the first set. The two teams traded kills, but an ace from Megan Courtney sealed up the first set for the Lions, 25-12. That was the only set that Penn State led during the match, however.
Nebraska got hot in the second set, going on a 5-0 run early. Although the Lions slowed Nebraska’s efforts, the team was still unable to fend off the the Cornhuskers, who rallied throughout the match. Courtney and Frantti made things interesting late in the second with back-to-back kills that brought the Nittany Lions to within one, but to no avail, as the Cornhuskers jumped ahead and capped off the second set 25-22. Service errors in the next two sets ensured that the Nittany Lions would be leaving Lincoln without a victory. The Cornhuskers capitalized off of the miscues, and put the following two sets away, 25-20 and 25-23.
Coming off the loss, the Nittany Lions played with an added intensity against Iowa last night. Penn State’s offensive game was firing on all cylinders, as Grant and Courtney recorded 11 kills, while Frantti chipped in 10. Courtney also tallied two aces and four digs, all while hitting .611 for the match. Courtney displayed her all-around skills against the Hawkeyes, and was a big reason why the Lions left Iowa City victorious. Dominique Gonzalez again led the way defensively, notching eight digs, while Frantti tallied six. Micha Hancock looked like a point guard while recording 33 assists, four aces, and five digs.
This one was not even close, as the Nittany Lions dominated Iowa 25-15, 25-14, and 25-11. Iowa only made things interesting late after a Penn State error and an Iowa kill brought the Hawkeyes to within three, but Penn State’s offensive attack kept the late rally at bay. Errors again opened the door for Iowa, who brought it to within five in the third, but was once again held off by a 5-0 run by the Nittany Lions to end the game and lock up the sweep.
The Nittany Lions will play host to Northwestern this Wednesday, Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. followed by a matchup against Illinois Saturday, Oct. 11 at 4:00 p.m. at Rec Hall.