No. 8 Penn State Women’s Volleyball Sweeps No. 25 Illinois
No. 8 Penn State women’s volleyball began a four-match road trip with a sweep against No. 25 Illinois in Champaign Friday night.
Kaitlyn Hord’s 10 kills and eight blocks powered the Nittany Lions throughout the 25-15, 25-22, 25-18 victory over the Fighting Illini.
How It Happened
The Nittany Lions jumped out to a quick 6-1 lead in the opening set thanks to a slew of attack errors on Illinois’ part. The Illini fired off 10 attack errors and three service errors in the first set en route to a 25-15 Penn State win.
Once Illinois’ attack calmed down and began limiting errors, Penn State’s offense stepped up in a major way by contributing 17 kills and a service ace in the second set. The Nittany Lions defense held the Illini to just .150 hitting and recorded three blocks to win the set 25-22.
Penn State never looked back from this point on and took the third set 25-18. The Nittany Lions trailed for just a brief second in initial moments this set, and never trailed in sets one or two.
Jonni Parker’s 12 kills led the Nittany Lions, while Hord and Serena Gray followed closely behind with 10 and seven, respectively. In a surprising turn of events, Kendall White and Gabby Blossom each contributed a kill, which is uncommon in their respective roles as libero and setter.
Defensively, Hord posted eight blocks for the third time in her career while Tori Gorrell and Parker tallied four and three, respectively. Parker also added 10 digs against the Illini.
Blossom dished out 35 assists in the victory. She was recently named Big Ten Setter of the Week for the third week in a row on Monday, and it’s no wonder why given her consistently impressive performances.
White continued her quest to become the greatest libero in program history against the Illini, collecting 15 digs to bring her career total up to 1,876. She needs just 82 more to become Penn State’s all-time digs leader.
Player Of The Match
Kaitlyn Hord | Middle Blocker
Did someone say “block party?” Hord posted eight total blocks against the Illini, matching both her season and career-highs. The sophomore sensation also racked up 10 kills on .429 hitting in addition to a dig.
The Nittany Lions (20-4, 13-2 Big Ten) will remain in the state of Illinois this weekend and head to Evanston to take on Northwestern on Sunday, November 17. First serve against the Wildcats is set for 2 p.m.
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About the Author
James Franklin is here to stay.
ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg reported that Rahne is “in the mix” for the head coaching job at Old Dominion, which was left vacant by Bobby Wilder’s resignation on December 2.
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