Women’s Volleyball Sweeps No. 18 Purdue At Rec Hall

A night after sweeping Indiana, Penn State women’s volleyball continued its winning ways Saturday night at Rec Hall, defeating No. 18 Purdue in straight sets (25-18, 25-17, 25-17).

Haleigh Washington and Simone Lee both tallied at least ten kills, and the Lions benefitted from a .315-.135 hitting percentage advantage.

“I thought we played much better than we did last night, against a team that started the weekend as the number one team in the conference,” head coach Russ Rose told Penn State athletics.

 

How It Happened

Tied 3-3 to open the first set, Lee, Ali Frantti, and Aiyana Whitney combined for a 5-1 spurt to push the Lions ahead. After more or less trading points to reach the 13-6 mark, a 7-4 Boilermakers rally cut Penn State’s immediate momentum. But Penn State fought back after a timeout, and Whitney and Washington again combined for a set of kills and digs, accounting for a 4-1 run that brought Penn State to 21-14, threatening a first set point. Ultimately, a Purdue service error handed Penn State the first set, 25-18.

A strong Purdue side began the second set with a bit more momentum, maintaining an 8-8 tie early on. But several attacking errors by the Boilermakers provided the Lions with a lead (14-11) that they would not give up. After a Purdue timeout, Whitney and Lee again tallied blocks and kills to push the lead to eight, 21-13. From there, the second set’s fate was all but sealed. And like the first set, a Purdue service error proved to be set point, 25-17 in favor of the Lions.

Penn State again secured an early lead in the third and final set, a 9-6 advantage that was soon narrowed to 9-8. A kill and an ace by the Boilermakers, who provided threats but never true scares the entire night, kept the score close throughout the middle portion of the set (14-12). But a 6-2 run by Penn State broke the Nittany Lions free, 20-13. Again, Purdue could not muster any true comeback, and again, a service error ended the set (25-17), and the match in Penn State’s favor.

What’s Next

After a 2-0 homestand this weekend, Penn State is back on the road next week. It travels to the state of Michigan for a Wednesday evening matchup against Michigan, then will visit Michigan State on Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. The Wednesday tilt will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network at 7:00 p.m.

 

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Ben Berkman

State College, PA

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