Penn State Women’s Volleyball Sweeps Howard To Advance

Penn State women’s volleyball swept Howard 3-0 (25-9, 25-9, 25-8) Friday night at Rec Hall to advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

The Nittany Lions are now 99-30 in tournament play and 6-0 in their all-time series against the Bison. 

How It Happened

Redshirt junior middle blocker Tori Gorrell made her seventh start of the season in place of freshman Serena Gray, who was wearing street clothes on Penn State’s bench. It was the only match Gray has missed in her debut campaign. Gorrell had five kills and four blocks.

Junior libero Kendall White surpassed Dominique Gonzalez for fourth place on the program’s career digs list midway through the third set. She finished with a match-high 14 digs in the victory. White and Gabby Blossom paced Penn State with two service aces each.

Jonni Parker and Nia Reed combined for 17 kills to lead the Nittany Lions offensively, while Kaitlyn Hord and Taylor Leath added seven kills apiece. Penn State hit .474 as a team against the Bison, who fell to 20-11 on the season after hitting .000 Friday.

“I thought we played with good poise this evening and handled the ball well,” Russ Rose said. “I was happy with the offensive performance. I thought we did well out of the middle. Kaitlyn did a nice job. Everything comes if you can control the ball.”

The Nittany Lions celebrate a point early in the match.

Player of the Match

Jonni Parker | Right side

Parker did a little bit of everything in the victory with nine kills, seven digs, five blocks, an assist, and an ace.


  • Penn State absolutely dominated from the service line with a 7-0 advantage in aces. The Nittany Lions only surrendered three service errors.
  • Setter Bryanna Weiskircher spread the ball around to a host of different hitters early in the match, which set the tone for an excellent performance in all three phases of the game.
  • The Nittany Lions sided out a ridiculous 96.3 percent of the time — a number that’s almost unheard of for an entire match.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions (24-7) will host Syracuse in the round of 32 Saturday at 7 p.m. at Rec Hall.

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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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