Women’s Volleyball Sweeps Iowa For Ninth-Straight Win
Penn State’s balanced attack and more talented roster proved too much for an Iowa team hungry for an upset. Russ Rose’s team extended its win streak, but the three sets it played were closer than most likely expected from a sub-.500 Hawkeye team.
How It Happened
The match started off with Iowa playing to its home advantage, taking an early lead over the No. 1 Nittany Lions. It was only once the teams were tied at 8-8 that Penn State could pull away, and a five-point run was just what Russ Rose wanted to see. Ali Frantti served a few consecutive points that her team put away, and only once Penn State had a comfortable cushion did Iowa start fighting back. Still, it couldn’t muster more than two consecutive points and fell by a final set score of 25-16.
The surprise of the night came in the second set. Iowa had an early four-point run to take a 9-5 lead, and Penn State won three straight soon after to tie it at 10-10. From that point on, neither team won more than two points in a row. That means that neither team could pull away, and shaky finishing from the Lions forced them to limp to a 25-23 win.
With a 2-0 lead and one set standing in the way of victory, neither team changed how it played with the end seeming inevitable. Penn State only trailed at the 2-1 mark, then marched to a 25-18 win.
Four players had at least eight kills, but only two had double digits. Penn State outhit Iowa .323 to .219, which is a much higher hitting percentage than most Penn State opponents have tallied this year.
Player Of The Game
In a balanced performance, Megan Courtney stood out with her defense as much as offense. She had the closest thing to a double-double of any Nittany Lion — nine kills and 10 digs.
Penn State is back in action Saturday at 8 p.m. in Minnesota to take on the No. 4 Golden Gophers, a rematch of the Nittany Lions’ five-set win in Rec Hall in late September.