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Penn State Women’s Volleyball Sweeps Northwestern Again

No. 7 Penn State women’s volleyball swept Northwestern 3-0 (25-6, 25-14, 25-17) on senior night Saturday at Rec Hall.

The Nittany Lions also beat the Wildcats in straight sets last week in Evanston. 

How It Happened

Freshman defensive specialist Jenna Hampton had two quick service aces to help the Nittany Lions open up an early lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Nia Reed, Serena Gray, and Taylor Leath recorded three kills apiece in a balanced first set for Penn State’s offense.

Northwestern took an 8-7 lead over the Nittany Lions to start the second set, but Penn State stormed back thanks to Jonni Parker’s strong all-around performance. She’s becoming known for her tremendous diving saves.

Both teams battled back and forth to begin the third set, but Penn State refused to let the Wildcats build much momentum. Gray connected on eight of her nine swings for a ridiculous .889 hitting percentage. Russ Rose played all 16 of his players in the win.

“I think Serena has grown so much from the time she stepped on campus,” Leath said. “She wasn’t only hitting the ball, she was hitting it with an exclamation point. That was just absolutely awesome to see her finding the gaps.”

Player of the Match

Jonni Parker | Right side

The Casstown, Ohio, native had a match-high 11 kills, seven digs, three blocks, an assist, and an ace.

Takeaways

  • Penn State appears to be gaining confidence from the service line of late, tallying more aces (6) than errors (4) against the Wildcats.
  • Senior setter Bryanna Weiskircher Weiskircher did a little bit of everything for the Nittany Lions. She ensured the offense was clicking all night long with a match-high 30 assists.
  • Penn State outblocked the Wildcats 10-1 in one of the shortest matches of the season. The crowd of 3,802 was treated to a clinic in all phases of the game.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions (22-6) return to Rec Hall Friday when they host No. 3 Minnesota at 8 p.m. on Big Ten Network. The Golden Gophers swept Penn State on September 19 in Minneapolis. 

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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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