No. 8 Penn State Women’s Volleyball Sweeps Rutgers Again
No. 8 Penn State women’s volleyball wrapped up a four-match road trip with a definitive sweep over Rutgers Sunday afternoon.
Tori Gorrell tallied a match-high 12 kills off the bench in the 25-14, 25-19, 25-12 win over the Scarlet Knights at College Avenue Gym.
How It Happened
Russ Rose’s starting seven featured outside hitters Lauren Clark and Jonni Parker, middle blockers Kaitlyn Hord and Serena Gray, setter Gabby Blossom, defensive specialist Jenna Hampton, and libero Kendall White.
Sunday’s match began with a quick back-and-forth battle between the two teams until Penn State pulled away with an 11-6 lead in the opening set. The Nittany Lions’ advantage would prove true, as they went on to take the first set 25-14 thanks to a stellar offensive performance. Penn State hit .317 as a team in the first game and posted 17 kills — a stark contrast to Rutgers’ 8 kills on .188 hitting.
The Scarlet Knights got off to a hot start in the second frame and led Penn State by as many as two points before the Nittany Lions regained an 8-7 lead. They once again never looked back and took the second set 25-19.
Penn State’s momentum easily carried into the third frame, as it took down Rutgers 25-12 to put an exclamation point on the match.
Success from the service line played a major role in the Nittany Lions’ win Sunday afternoon. Penn State recorded a whopping 10 service aces throughout the match and kept Rutgers on its toes during each set. Both teams tallied seven service errors, though.
Russ Rose’s squad flashed its defensive prowess against Rutgers, as it held the Scarlet Knights to .152 hitting as a team. No player recorded more than six kills against Penn State.
Freshman outside hitter Gabi Bailey provided a nice spark off the bench for the Nittany Lions, as she tallied three kills on four attacks. Her only other appearance this season was against Holy Cross in Penn State’s second match of the season, where she posted one kill and an attack error.
White tallied eight digs against the Scarlet Knights, bringing her career total up to 1,910. She now needs just 45 more to pass Kaleena Walters and become Penn State’s all-time digs leader. In a rare occurrence, Hampton led the team in digs with 11.
With the win, Penn State improved to 35-9 all-time against Rutgers. The Nittany Lions haven’t lost to the Scarlet Knights since 1982, and have won 40 consecutive sets against them dating back to 2001.
Player Of The Match
Tori Gorrell | Middle Blocker
Gorrell came off the bench against Rutgers but put together one of her best performances of the season nonetheless. The redshirt senior collected 12 kills on an impressive .529 hitting clip in addition to two digs and a block.
The Nittany Lions (23-4, 16-2 Big Ten) will return to Rec Hall and wrap up their regular season with highly anticipated matchups against No. 5 Wisconsin and No. 7 Minnesota on Friday, November 29 and Saturday, November 30, respectively. The clashes against the Badgers and Gophers are set for 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively.
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