No. 8 Penn State Women’s Volleyball Sweeps Indiana Again
No. 8 Penn State women’s volleyball continued its four-match road trip with a sweep over Indiana Wednesday night in Bloomington.
Serena Gray tallied a match-high 14 kills on an even .500 hitting in the 25-16, 25-20, 28-26 win over the Hoosiers at Wilkinson Hall.
How It Happened
Russ Rose’s starting seven consisted of outside hitter Allyson Cathey, right side Jonni Parker, middle blockers Serena Gray and Kaitlyn Hord, setter Gabby Blossom, defensive specialist Jenna Hampton, and libero Kendall White.
The Nittany Lions jumped out to a quick 10-5 lead in the opening set thanks to strong offensive play and a slew of attack errors on Indiana’s part. Five players tallied at least two kills in the first set en route to a 25-16 Penn State win, while the Hoosiers posted a whopping nine hitting errors.
Penn State kept that momentum going in the second set and stormed to a 25-20 win. The Nittany Lions’ stout defense limited the Hoosiers to just .097 hitting in the second game, while Penn State hit an even .300 and racked up 15 kills in the process.
Indiana responded with a strong effort in the third set and challenged Penn State greatly as it attempted to close things out and sweep the Hoosiers. After a slew of back-and-forth set points, the Nittany Lions eventually pulled ahead and took the set 28-26 and the match 3-0.
Offensively, both Gray and Parker notched double-digit kill totals in the victory on .500 and .304 hitting, respectively. Hord tallied seven kills on just .250 hitting — a stark contrast from her season average north of .400.
Blossom dished out 38 assists in the match. She also added four digs, two blocks, and two kills on three attacks, which translates to a team-high .667 hitting clip.
Did someone say “block party?” The Nittany Lions’ middles erupted for 20 total blocks against Indiana. Parker and Hord each led the way with six, while Gray followed closely behind with four herself.
White recorded 13 digs in the match and brought her career total up to 1,902. The star libero now needs just 56 more to become Penn State’s all-time digs leader.
Wednesday night’s victory was Penn State’s 22nd of the season. While seemingly insignificant at first, this is now the 41st time Russ Rose’s team has won at least 22 matches in his 41 seasons with the Nittany Lions. Talk about a model of consistency!
Penn State is now 55-1 against Indiana all-time and has won 15 matches in a row against the Hoosiers. The two teams won’t meet again in the regular season, but a postseason matchup can’t be ruled out just yet.
Player Of The Match
Serena Gray | Middle Blocker
Gray truly did it all against Indiana. Aside from tallying a match-high 14 kills on .500 hitting, the sophomore middle blocker racked up four total blocks, a dig, and a service ace in the win.
The Nittany Lions (22-4, 15-2 Big Ten) will wrap up their current road trip when they travel to take on Rutgers on Sunday, November 24. First serve in Piscataway, New Jersey is set for noon.
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