Women’s Volleyball Team Edges Boilermakers On The Road
No. 7 Penn State was able to escape West Lafayette with a 3-2 (26-24,23-25,22-25,25-23,15-9) win over No. 14 Purdue on Friday night behind the offensive performances of Aiyana Whitney and Ali Frantti.
Whitney led the way for the Nittany Lions (17-3, 5-2) with a career high 18 kills, along with two digs and three blocks, while Frantti finished her night with 16 kills. The Lions were all over the court defensively, with five Nittany Lions recording at least three blocks. Nia Grant had a solid night as well, chipping in 12 kills, two digs, two aces, and three blocks, all while hitting a team high .429.
The match began with the Nittany Lions jumping out to an early three point lead in the first set, forcing Purdue to call a timeout and regroup. The timeout seemed to rejuvenate the team, as the Boilermakers proceeded to go on a 3-1 run, tightening up the game. The back and forth action would continue throughout the set. The Lions would narrowly edge out the Boilermakers in the first set thanks to a Micha Hancock ace.
The second set saw the Nittany Lions dig themselves into a 5-2 hole, only to rally back with a six point hot streak, which included plenty of noteworthy defensive plays, especially two crucial blocks from Haleigh Washington and Megan Courtney.
As the back and forth action continued in the second set, neither team could outdo the other, with a total of 10 ties being recorded in the frame. The Boilermakers would eventually out play the Nittany Lions in the set, winning 25-23 and tying the match at 1-1.
Set three was all Purdue, as the Nittany Lions failed to find their offensive groove. The team would eventually get comfortable and bring the score within three. An error would end Penn State’s comeback attempt and hand the Boilermakers the set, 25-22.
The fourth set was tight early on, and continued as the set progressed. The Nittany Lions would call a timeout after the Boilermakers tied up the set 18-18. The two teams battled it out defensively, with both squads trading blocks. A Courtney kill would take this match to the wire, forcing a fifth set.
Grant’s ace, paired with her two kills, helped spark an offensive blitz for Penn State, while a Purdue error allowed the team to hold its lead. Though the Boilermakers attempted to mount a slow comeback, the Nittany Lions jumped even further ahead after a 4-1 streak. The Lions would stay ahead for good, taking the fifth set 15-9 along with the match, 3-2,
Penn State takes on the Hoosiers of Indiana Saturday night at 7 p.m.