Women’s Volleyball Gets Swept By No. 9 Stanford
Penn State (2-3) dropped its third match in a row Sunday afternoon against No. 9 Stanford (3-1) in the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge, getting swept by the Cardinal 3-0 (24-26, 18-25, 22-25) in the Coors Events Center. To put that in perspective, Russ Rose’s Nittany Lions haven’t lost three straight matches since 2002-03.
How It Happened
Despite edging Stanford 43-41 in the kills department, No. 13 Penn State had a difficult time from the service line in Boulder, Colo., as it was on the wrong end of eight service aces, while providing none of its own. Junior outside hitter Simone Lee paced the Nittany Lions offensively in each of their first four matches and Sunday was no different, as she posted a match-high 12 kills. Middle blocker Haleigh Washington added nine kills, while Ali Frantti and Tori Gorrell finished with six apiece. Frantti also had eight digs, while Gorrell was a stone wall with a match-high eight total blocks.
Penn State played its most complete set of the night to open things up, but a controversial no-call net violation on set-point gave the Cardinal a 26-24 win. It was the first time the Nittany Lions failed to capture the opening frame this season.
Middle blocker Heidi Thelen and setter Abby Detering, who played the entire match after splitting time with redshirt sophomore Bryanna Weiskircher the past two outings, rounded out Penn State’s offense with five kills apiece. Detering supplied a match-high 35 assists (her most in a Nittany Lion uniform), nine digs, and a pair of assisted blocks. True freshman libero Kendall White was spectacular in setting a career-high with 22 digs, which proved to be eight more than her nearest competitor, while also dishing out four assists.
Head coach John Dunning’s Stanford squad enjoyed a balanced attack, as middle blocker Inky Ajanaku and 2015 AVCA Freshman of the Year Hayley Hodson led the way with 11 and nine kills, respectively. The Cardinal would roll to an easy 18-25 second-set victory. Penn State had a hard time finishing once again, as it battled back to lead the third set 21-19, but could only watch as Stanford clutched up with a 6-1 rally to seal the sweep 25-22.
Player Of The Match
Kendall White | Freshman | Libero
The Indianapolis native is a bright spot defensively for Penn State in what’s been a tough start to the season.
The Nittany Lions will hope to regroup in Upstate New York at the Syracuse Classic Sept. 9-10, where they’ll take on Siena Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. A doubleheader is scheduled for the following day against Hofstra at 12:30 p.m. and tournament-host Syracuse at 7:00 p.m.