No. 8 Penn State Women’s Volleyball Snaps Skid With 3-1 Win Over Indiana
No. 8 Penn State women’s volleyball (3-3) finally earned its first win in nearly two weeks against Indiana (2-7). The Nittany Lions won in four sets at 3-1 (25-13, 25-27, 25-10, 25-18).
Junior opposite hitter Jonni Parker absolutely dominated the match and led the Nittany Lions with 18 kills overall.
How It Happened
The start of the first set was a back and forth battle between both teams. As both Indiana and Penn State struggled to gain momentum, it was strong serving by junior middle blocker Serena Gray that helped the Nittany Lions take an 8-4 lead. Poor execution on the Hoosiers’ receiving end also helped give Penn State a boost.
Junior opposite hitter Jonni Parker had a huge first set with six kills total with Gray not too far behind with four kills. Indiana struggled defensively and continued to make sloppy mistakes. Penn State dominated set one with a 25-13 win, closing the match on a missed serve by Indiana’s Brooke Westbeld.
The Nittany Lions struggled to take the lead after the Hoosiers came out to a strong 6-2 start thanks to execution errors on Penn State’s end. A dig by junior libero Jenna Hampton propelled Gray to get a big kill (her eighth of the night) to trail by two at a score of 15-13. Service errors hurt the Nittany Lions’ chance of taking the lead over the Hoosiers but still maintained a close score.
An attack error by Indiana’s Morgan Geddes finally tied the match for the first time at 22-22, but Penn State still couldn’t hold on. After tying the set three more times, Indiana fought back to win the second set 27-25.
After tying it up at 3-3, Penn State was able to take the lead at 7-4 thanks to strong serving from Gray and a kill by junior middle hitter Kaitlyn Hord. The Nittany Lions ran away with their lead at 18-9 on a 4-0 scoring run thanks to a kill by freshman Lauren Clark, an ace by Parker, and two hitting errors by Indiana’s Breana Edwards and Ashley Zulauf.
Penn State finished the rest of the third set strong with strong serving by Clark who earned a service ace before Tommi Stockham’s hitting error helped the Nittany Lions close out the set 25-10 with a 5-0 scoring run.
The Hoosiers took a short-term lead in the fourth set, starting out at a 3-1 lead. Three kills by redshirt sophomore by Anastasiya Kudryashova helped Penn State keep the score close at 13-11.
Strong hitting from Parker and freshman outside hitter Annie Cate Fitzpatrick gave Penn State the upper hand in the fourth set, putting it at a 22-17 lead. Penn State finally clinched their first win in two weeks in the fourth set, winning 25-18 on a kill by Kudryashova to close out the set.
Besides Parker, Gray finished the night with 13 kills and a nice . 409 hitting percentage with four blocks, while Kudryashova had 10 kills with a .250 hitting percentage. Blossom totaled 44 assists on the night.
Player Of The Match
Jonni Parker | Opposite Hitter
Parker played an impressive game, earning 18 kills on the night and a .432 hitting percentage. She also led Penn State with three service aces.
Penn State faces Indiana for a second time on Saturday, February 20. First serve is set for 6 p.m. at Rec Hall on BTN+.
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