Women’s Volleyball Sweeps Iowa With Ease
Russ Rose’s Nittany Lions played host to Iowa in Rec Hall before the two schools squared off across campus in Beaver Stadium later Saturday night. No. 11 Penn State (18-7, 10-4 Big Ten) snapped its four-match losing streak thanks to an emphatic sweep (25-11, 25-16, 25-17) over the Hawkeyes.
How It Happened
The blue and white started the match on a 5-0 run behind some sloppy play from Iowa and an added intensity. Penn State’s defensive efforts above the net were also clicking from the get-go, as junior Haleigh Washington provided five blocks in the first set. She would add five more before the final whistle to help the team to a 14-3 advantage. The Nittany Lions were clearly not thrilled about their 3-2 loss to No. 1 Nebraska Friday, so they put on a show offensively to capture the opening set 25-11. After subbing in for Abby Detering at setter midway through last night’s match, Bryanna Weiskircher got the start against head coach Bond Shymansky’s Hawkeyes.
Penn State kept its foot on the pedal in the second set, cruising to a 16-9 lead in large part due to Weiskircher’s hot hand and some strong play from Simone Lee. The junior outside hitter unleashed a barrage of rocket-like swings to set the pace for the Nittany Lion offense. Lee, Washington, and Ali Frantti would finish in a tie for the match-high with nine kills on the afternoon. Penn State held off a late charge by the Hawkeyes to take a 25-16 victory and 2-0 lead into the intermission. Lauren Brobst led the way for Iowa with nine kills, while junior defensive specialist Annika Olsen finished with a match-high 15 digs.
The Hawkeyes had a little pep in the their step to open the third set, taking a quick 6-3 advantage, but Penn State wasn’t keen on prolonging this one. The Nittany Lions stormed back to take the lead and didn’t look back, rolling to a 25-14 win to cap things off. Penn State held Iowa to a paltry .030 hitting percentage, while swinging .345 on its side of the net. Freshman Kendall White, fresh off a career-high 32 digs against the Cornhuskers, put together another solid defensive outing despite dealing with a taped left hand. Penn State’s electric libero would dish out 13 digs in the sweep. Sophomore Keeton Holcomb added three of her own. Tori Gorrell and Heidi Thelen rounded out the scoring with five and four kills, respectively.
Player Of The Match
Bryanna Weiskircher | Redshirt sophomore | Setter
The Rockford, Ill., native made a strong case for keeping the starting job on Saturday as she finished with a match-high 29 assists, nine digs, six blocks, and three kills in the victory.
The Nittany Lions have a few days off before traveling to Maryland this coming Friday at 8:00 p.m. ET.