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Women’s Volleyball Sweeps Clemson In Penn State Invitational

Russ Rose’s Nittany Lions swept Rhode Island Friday night and Howard Saturday morning ahead of Penn State football’s 34-27 win versus Temple.

No. 20 Penn State completed its second-straight undefeated tournament with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-12) victory over Clemson.

How It Happened

Penn State (8-3) woke up on the right side of the bed with an early sweep of Howard (25-16, 25-12, 25-16) behind a match-high 12 kills from junior Simone Lee and balanced offense throughout. The Nittany Lions opened the second leg of their doubleheader quickly, as middle blocker Haleigh Washington scored the first point of the match before four more teammates recorded a kill right off the bat as well.

Junior setter Abby Detering continued her strong play of late by dictating the tempo of Penn State’s offense early and making sure the entire starting lineup got involved in the first set. In a bit of an odd practice, Clemson head coach Hugh Hernesman has his backups run a few quick sprints after calling a timeout, like when the Nittany Lions were up 17-10. Penn State would finish off a 25-14 first-set victory behind three kills each from Washington, Lee, and outside hitter Ali Frantti.

Heidi Thelen and Tori Gorrell kept things going with some offense of their own as the Nittany Lions traded punches with the Tigers for the better part of the second set. Freshman libero Kendall White has been phenomenal all season and the Indianapolis native flashed more of the defensive spark that allowed her to win the starting job the moment she stepped on campus. White would finish with 15 digs, two assists, and a kill on the night. Penn State finally pulled away down the stretch to capture the set 25-17, as Detering provided the final kill to give the ladies in blue and white a chance to sweep the Tigers. She would go on to post 33 assists, three digs, three blocks, and two kills.

Following the intermission, Penn State wasted little time heating up in the third set. Sophomore defensive specialist Keeton Holcomb laid out for a tremendous dig that resulted in a point for the Nittany Lions to set the tone early, then Lee really put her foot on the gas, reaching double figures in kills midway through the frame. A trio of Tigers finished with five kills in Leah Perri, Kailey Harvell, and Megan McGinley, but with Penn State playing so well above the net, there wasn’t a whole lot they could do to stop a 25-12 win to cap the sweep. Washington and Thelen would finish with eight kills apiece, while Frantti and Gorrell added five and three, respectively.

Player Of The Match

Simone Lee | Junior | Outside hitter

Lee finished with 10 kills, seven digs, and three blocks to help her team capture the Penn State Invitational.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will open Big Ten conference play on the road at Rutgers this coming Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.

About the Author

Ethan Kasales

Ethan’s a senior journalism major who grew up in Lemont, a few minutes from campus. When he’s not covering Penn State sports, you can usually find him golfing or teaching snowboarding at Tussey Mountain. Feel free to email him at [email protected]

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