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Penn State Women’s Volleyball Suffers Devastating 3-0 Loss To No. 6 Pitt

No. 4 Penn State women’s volleyball suffered a heartbreaking loss to No. 6 Pitt Friday night at Rec Hall. This marks the first time the Panthers have defeated the Nittany Lions since 1987.

A combination of poor blocking, sloppy defense, and a lack of offensive rhythm played a major role in the loss.

How It Happened

Russ Rose’s squad got off to a rough start, falling behind early and never truly bouncing back. The Nittany Lions lost the first set 25-17, the second 25-21, and the third 25-23. Sophomore right side Jonni Parker recorded a team-high 12 kills on just .103 hitting in the loss.

Every time Penn State seemed to go on a rally, Pitt came back stronger. The Nittany Lions managed to go on a 5-0 run in the third set, cutting the deficit to 24-23. However, the Panthers came out on top, posting a .337 hitting percentage for the match — a stark contrast compared to Penn State’s meager .129 clip.

“I’m disappointed in how we played but I thought that Pittsburgh played very well,” head coach Russ Rose said. “I was surprised by how we played…but that happens sometimes. You play your style and sometimes the other teams’ style exposes you for some of the things you don’t do as well.

“We never really had a chance to get into the flow of what we wanted to do,” Rose continued.

Serena Gray tallied eight kills on .438 hitting, while libero Kendall White had 13 digs. Despite their efforts, it just wasn’t enough.

Player Of The Match

Lexis Akeo | Setter

Pittsburgh freshman setter Lexis Akeo played a major role in the Panthers’ sweep over the Nittany Lions. She dished out 33 assists, two blocks, and seven digs to boost the team through the victory.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions (6-2) will travel to Pittsburgh for a rematch against the Panthers on Sunday, September 22. First serve is set for 1 p.m.

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About the Author

Rory Pelella

Rory is a senior from Binghamton, New York majoring in Spanish and journalism. She's been bleeding blue and white ever since her older siblings decided to create a family dynasty in Happy Valley in 2006. So, as you can imagine, she loves absolutely everything Penn State (especially the Cheese Shoppe downtown). She's also a die-hard Yankees, Knicks, and Giants fan (it's brutal), and would do anything for a good old fashioned New York slice. Feel free to email her at [email protected] or follow her on twitter @rorypelella.

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