Women’s Volleyball Captures Tight Sweep Over Northwestern
No. 15 Penn State (21-9, 13-6 Big Ten) welcomed Northwestern to town Friday night for its penultimate match of the regular season in front of 3,657 at Rec Hall.
Russ Rose’s Nittany Lions followed up their sweep of the Wildcats in Evanston earlier this season with another win in straight sets (25-23, 25-23, 25-16).
How It Happened
Junior setter Abby Detering set the tone right away with a service ace to start the match. First-year head coach Shane Davis’ Wildcats weren’t fazed, as they opened up a 16-12 margin in the opening set, prompting Rose to call his first timeout. Detering called her own number on a beautiful kill to tie it up at 17-17 before the Nittany Lions went on a nice rally of their own to capture a close 25-23 win. Northwestern’s outside hitters Symone Abbott and Sofia Lavin turned in a strong first set with a match-high six kills apiece, however. They would finish with 18 and 12, respectively.
The Wildcats got off to another impressive start to the second set, doubling up Penn State 10-5, but Ali Frantti and SImone Lee would help turn things around. The ladies in blue and white rattled off a 12-6 run to take a 17-16 lead. It wouldn’t be easy to close out a 2-0 advantage, yet the Nittany Lions did just that thanks to another tight 25-23 victory. Frantti notched a team-high 11 kills when the final whistle blew, while adding five digs on the defensive end.
The Nittany Lions finally got the hot start they craved in the third and final set and parlayed it into a solid 25-16 win. Penn State enjoyed plenty of production from its libero and defensive specialists, as Kendall White, Lainy Pierce, and Keeton Holcomb chipped in seven digs apiece on the night. Pierce set a new career-high in the victory. Detering and Northwestern setter Taylor Tashima went back and forth all evening long, finishing with just over 30 assists apiece. Tashima also added a match-high eight digs.
Player Of The Match
Abby Detering | Junior | Setter
The Mentor, Ohio, native was tremendous Friday night, posting seven digs, four kills, four service aces, and a block to accompany her match-high tally of 34 assists. She led the Nittany Lion offense to a .379 hitting percentage.
The Nittany Lions are back in action Saturday at 8:00 p.m. for Senior Night against Illinois. Come on out to support the team following the football game in Beaver Stadium.