Volleyball Extends Win Streak To Nine With Victory Over Iowa
Penn State’s early momentum proved to be too much for Iowa as the No. 6 Nittany Lions swept the Hawkeyes, 25-14, 25-12, 25-21 on Wednesday night. It was Penn State’s 22nd sweep of the year, and the win improved its record to 25-3.
Aiyana Whitney led the way with 16 kills in the match, and Nia Grant had an impressive night as well, tallying an .846 hitting percentage.
The first set saw one of the more impressive streaks Penn State has had this year, as the team won 10 straight points after a tie at 8-8. The Hawkeyes eventually broke the streak, but couldn’t handle the Nittany Lions as they continued to roll to a 25-14 win.
The Lions’ charge could not be slowed down, as they never trailed in the second set en route to a dominant 25-12 win. Whitney led both teams in the set with eight kills and was credited with 8.5 points. Haleigh Washington, a freshman, also had a solid night, tallying 12 kills on a .667 hitting percentage. Even with her impressive play in recent weeks — winning Big Ten Freshman of the Week twice — she isn’t satisfied with her performances just yet.
“I may be doing well right now,” she said after the match. “But there’s always someone out there better than me.”
After underwhelming performances in the first two sets, the Hawkeyes began capitalizing on Penn State’s mistakes in the third. Coach Russ Rose admitted after the match that his team “wasn’t very sharp” – and the score reflected that. An uncomfortably close 25-21 win (that saw Iowa leading as late as 16-15) allowed Penn State to escape the match with a three-set sweep.
“Everybody in the conference is capable of beating everybody in the conference,” said Rose postgame. “[The Hawkeyes] are a good team and they’re doing a real nice job… We’ll have to play better on Saturday.”
Penn State will be back in action Saturday at Rec Hall, taking on the 15-10 Golden Gophers of Minnesota. Check out our photo gallery from the match HERE.