Michigan Upsets No. 4 Women’s Volleyball In Four Sets
Michigan came to Happy Valley Wednesday night for a highly anticipated matchup with the No. 4 Nittany Lions. The Wolverines are getting a lot of attention this week for this Saturday’s football game, but Russ Rose’s team set Penn State at 0-1 this week with a four-set loss.
How It Happened
The first set was about as clean as one can be. Penn State held a block party while putting on one of the best serving performances of the post-Micha Hancock era. It won 25-14, bouncing back from its three-set loss at Minnesota last week. Simone Lee fired ace after ace while the always energetic Haleigh Washington led the match with four kills. After Michigan won the first point, Penn State tied the set and never trailed.
Set No. 2 started a lot more evenly, as it was tied as late as 5-5. The Nittany Lions, led by Washington, Megan Courtney, and Ali Frantti, finally began to pull ahead around 10-7 but couldn’t shake the Wolverines, still leading by three at 18-15. Michigan refused to quit, leading the set for the first time at 23-22. Penn State previously led 22-17, but the Wolverines scored eight straight to win and tie the teams at one set apiece.
Penn State didn’t plan on starting the third set off down 5-1, but instantly fought back to only trail 6-5. The Nittany Lions forced their first tie and then lead at 9-9 then 10-9 as Frantti and Washington shook off some of their second-set blues. Neither team looked like it could pull away by more than a few points the entire set, and Bryanna Weiskircher combined with Washington to put on a show at the end of the set. The Nittany Lions looked like they took a 23-22 lead, but the point was replayed due to a Michigan player being unable to chase down the ball that went into the student section. Naturally, Michigan won the replayed point and the two after, winning its second set in a row 25-22.
The fourth set started off close yet again, but Penn State was able to maintain leads of four and five points until the middle of the frame. Michigan, once again, gave itself a comfortable 23-19 lead late in the set despite the early deficit. A net violation ended it all, and the Wolverines won in four sets.
Player Of The Game
Simone Lee wasn’t a leader on the stat sheet in most categories, but she set the tone in the first set with some of the best serves you could ever see. Lee painted the corners and sent un-returnable rockets to Michigan’s side, and it visibly shook the team — at least until they changed ends and the Wolverines really went to work.
Penn State remains at home this weekend for a matchup with Maryland on Saturday at 7:00. This will be the first meeting of the Big Ten foes this season.