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No. 18 Penn State Women’s Volleyball Falls To No. 14 Stanford 3-2

Penn State women’s volleyball (5-3) fell to No. 14 Stanford 3-2 Saturday night (21-25, 25-23, 22-25, 26-24, 15-7) to put an underwhelming Big Ten/Pac 12 Challenge to rest.

The Nittany Lions had their chances and took the Cardinal to five sets, but they ultimately couldn’t put the pieces together. In the loss, right-side hitter Jonni Parker led Penn State with 21 kills, while setter Gabby Blossom dished out a whopping 53 assists.

How It Happened

Penn State began Saturday night’s match strong and quickly found itself up 6-3 in the first set thanks to strong play from Minnesota transfer Adanna Rollins and a handful of service errors. A kill from Kaitlyn Hord stretched Penn State’s lead to 10-6 midway through the first frame.

Although the Cardinal continued fighting, Penn State maintained its distance. A late 4-0 run put the Nittany Lions up 20-13 late in the first frame. Stanford responded with three straight points to cut into Penn State’s lead, but it was too little, too late. Two straight hitting errors from the Cardinal gave Penn State a 25-21 set one win.

The match’s second set began with consistent back-and-forth play, including a handful of ties. Penn State took a timeout down 20-18 but then rattled off four straight points. The Cardinal wound up taking the frame 25-23 to tie the match 1-1.

The Nittany Lions got off to a hot start in the third game and quickly found themselves with an 8-3 lead. Strong .381 hitting and only six attack errors helped Penn State seal a 25-22 set three win.

Likely frustrated by its third set performance, Stanford got hot out the gate to begin frame four and quickly went up 5-1. However, strong play from Kaitlyn Hord helped Penn State tie things up 9-9. From there, Penn State took the wheel and wound up with match point at 24-23. However, a four-point Stanford run gave the Cardinal a 26-24 win, tying the match 2-2 and pushing for a fifth game.

Although Penn State had its chances, the worn-out Nittany Lions couldn’t capitalize in the fifth and final frame. Penn State hit .000 in the set en route to a wholly disappointing 3-2 loss to Stanford.

Player Of The Match

Jonni Parker | Right-Side Hitter

Parker’s back must be hurting after carrying Penn State all night long. The senior captain wound up contributing a team-high 21 kills on .367, plus 13 digs and five total blocks.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will rest up for a few days before traveling to Morgantown, West Virginia, to face Robert Morris and West Virginia at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., respectively, on Friday, September 17.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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