Errors Abound As Women’s Volleyball Drops Match To No. 4 Minnesota In Straight Sets
No. 1 Penn State travelled to Minnesota to take on the No. 4 Golden Gophers on Saturday night, the final of a four-game road stretch for the Nittany Lions. Sloppy play can make or break a team’s performance, but in the Nittany Lions’ case it cost them the game. Twenty errors by Penn State allowed Minnesota to take control and sweep the Nittany Lions, dropping their season record to 24-3.
How It Happened
The first set started off very back-and-forth between Penn State and Minnesota — the Golden Gophers immediately matched every point the Nittany Lions scored. At 10-10 in the first set, the Golden Gophers went on a roll, scoring six straight points to go up 16-10 thanks to a little home court advantage. The Nittany Lions were able to drown out the noise and mount a comeback thanks to Megan Courtney and Ali Frantti — who combined for 11 kills in the set — to tie it up at 20. However, Minnesota pulled away late and downed Penn State in the first set, 25-23.
The second set started similar to first; the back-and-forth pace afforded neither team more than a two-point lead early. Before long, however, Minnesota broke the tie and ran away with the set. The Golden Gophers went on a 15-3 run to create a large gap as they increased the lead to 18-8 over the Nittany Lions. Penn State then mounted a comeback on the shoulders of Simone Lee to cut the deficit to three points, but Minnesota mustered two final points to take the second set, 25-20.
After starting the match down 2-0, Penn State wasn’t going down without a fight. The third set was tied 11 times as the Nittany Lions tried everything they could to stay on the Gophers’ heels. A trio of Penn State players — Aiyana Whitney, Megan Courtney, and Ali Frantti — contributed five kills each to keep their team alive. Unfortunately, the Golden Gophers took advantage of the Nittany Lion’s eight errors in the set en route to a sweeping victory over Penn State, taking the third set 25-21.
The Nittany Lions come home to Happy Valley on Wednesday, Nov. 18 to take on Michigan at 7 p.m. before facing Maryland in Rec Hall on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m.