Women’s Volleyball Dismantles Maryland in Straight Sets
The No. 10 Penn State women’s volleyball team is quite good, and they exhibited that fact once again Saturday night at Maryland.
The Nittany Lions (28-3) racked up their twelfth victory in a row, 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-14) over the Terrapins (9-20) at the XFINITY Center in College Park.
It was Penn State’s eleventh consecutive win in straight sets, and it has now won 35 sets in a row. This is the second time this month the Nittany Lions have defeated Maryland in straight sets, following a Nov. 8 sweep at Rec Hall.
Penn State jumped out of the gates to take a 9-5 lead in the first set, aided largely by a 5-0 run. Maryland climbed back to 11-10, but a series of blocks by 6-foot-4 Aiyana Whitney, 6-foot-2 Nia Grant, and 6-foot-2 Megan Courtney stopped any threat of a counter. A Micha Hancock ace followed by two Whitney blocks closed the first set, 25-15 Penn State.
Again, the Nittany Lions used a 5-0 run to grab an early lead in the second set, but two Maryland kills knotted the score at 9-9. Again, however, Penn State demonstrated its overpowering strength and resisted the Terrapins’ measly attempt to take a set from the defending national champions. Two Hancock aces closed out the set, 25-18 Penn State.
Penn State didn’t use a run to outlast Maryland in the third and ultimately final set. Up 11-10, Courtney checked back into the game following a breather, and soon after recorded a kill to push the lead to 14-10. The Nittany Lions didn’t look back, and it was only fitting that Hancock recorded another ace to close out the match (25-14).
The Nittany Lions dominated Maryland statistically. They outkilled the Terrapins 34-22, recorded half as many attack errors (7-14), and their hit percentage was nearly triple that of their opponents (.435-.131). Penn State also cooked up nine service aces to Maryland’s none. Eight of those aces came from Hancock, who matched her season high.
Freshman Haleigh Washington finished with nine kills, Whitney added seven, and Ali Frantti and Courtney contributed six each.
Penn State only has two games remaining in its regular season. It will travel to Northwestern on Nov. 26 and host No. 11 Nebraska on Nov. 29 at 8:30 p.m.