No. 5 Women’s Volleyball Sweeps Past Indiana On Military Appreciation Night
The fifth-ranked Penn State women’s volleyball team returned to B1G play Friday evening in Rec Hall for a showdown with the Indiana Hoosiers on Military Appreciation Night.
The Nittany Lions were back in top form as they put last Saturday’s 3-2 road upset to Northwestern in the rear-view mirror. Penn State got out in front early and didn’t look back, easily capturing its match against the Hoosiers in straight sets (25-18, 25-15, 25-14).
How It Happened
Rose Rose‘s Nittany Lions pounced on the momentum with a 5-0 run to start the match. Outside hitters Nia Reed and Simone Lee got things going offensively for Penn State with five kills apiece in the first set. The Nittany Lions were without star outside hitter Megan Courtney, though. The senior from Dayton, Ohio, was seen with a boot on her right foot and watching Friday’s contest from the sideline.
True freshman libero Keeton Holcomb and senior defensive specialist Kendall Pierce put on a clinic with a handful of diving digs to keep rallies churning, as Penn State rolled to a 25-18 victory in the first set. Setter Bryanna Weiskircher orchestrated the offense with supreme efficiency, finding open lanes with the savvy of a veteran, despite it being her first year in the starting lineup. Weiskircher finished with 28 assists on the night.
Indiana’s Amelia Anderson set the tone for her squad with ten kills, but the Hoosiers had to deal with Penn State’s strong blocking presence, led by redshirt senior Aiyana Whitney. The ladies in blue and white cruised into the intermission with a 25-15 win.
Penn State’s Ali Frantti turned in a steady outing as the Spring Grove, Ill. native tallied five kills and seven digs, but it was standout performances from Lee and Holcomb, who finished with a match-high ten kills and 15 digs respectively, that made the difference in the stress-free third and deciding set, 25-14.
Hoosiers head coach Sherry Dunbar-Kruzan must have been pleased with the play of defensive specialist Courtney Harnish, who finished with a team-high 13 digs, but the high-powered Nittany Lions proved too much for Indiana to contain. Penn State (16-2, 5-2 B1G) didn’t have its best stuff offensively, but capitalized for an important regular season conference win over the Hoosiers (12-7, 2-5 B1G).
Player Of The Match
Aiyana Whitney | Outside hitter | No. 14
Whitney stepped up in a big way on both ends Friday night, as the Norwood, N.J. native recorded six kills and assisted on eight blocks.
No. 5 Penn State will return to action Saturday, Oct. 17 at 7:00 p.m. ET for a home tilt with 18th-ranked Purdue. The Boilermakers have yet to drop a B1G contest and currently sit atop the conference standings.