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Penn State Women’s Volleyball’s Dominance Over Rutgers Continues In Sweep

No. 20 Penn State women’s volleyball made light work of Rutgers Friday night to open up Big Ten play.

The Nittany Lions swept the Scarlet Knights (25-10, 25-12, 25-20) thanks to strong play from their upperclassmen, including right-side hitter Jonni Parker. Following Friday’s match, Rutgers still hasn’t won a set against Penn State dating all the way back to 2001.

How It Happened

Penn State came out firing to begin Friday night’s match. The Nittany Lions quickly took a 5-0 lead thanks to four Rutgers attack errors, plus a ball-handling error from the Scarlet Knights. Clearly disorganized, Rutgers took a timeout to pause the unanswered Penn State scoring run.

From then on, though, Penn State remained in absolute control of the first frame. Good production from the Nittany Lions’ pins, plus a strong blocking effort, kept Rutgers in check. The Scarlet Knights took another timeout down 19-7, but Penn State didn’t let up en route to a 25-10 first-set win.

Friday night’s second set began much like the first thanks to a huge 8-1 Penn State run. Strong play from Maryland transfer Erika Pritchard led the Nittany Lions to a 19-6 lead by the time Rutgers took its first timeout of the set.

The Nittany Lions’ set-two rout didn’t let up. Before long, sophomore middle blocker Allie Holland sent a ball to the hardwood to seal a 25-12 win for Penn State.

The match’s third and final frame was much more contested than its predecessors. Rutgers tied Penn State 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, and 8-8 before the Nittany Lions broke away with a 7-1 scoring run, resulting in a 15-8 lead midway through the set.

Although Rutgers was finally putting up more of a fight, it was too little, too late for the Scarlet Knights. Penn State completed the sweep and cruised to a 25-20, punctuated by a kill from senior right-side hitter Jonni Parker.

Following the win over Rutgers, Penn State is now 38-9 in the series dating all the way back to 1977. In fact, the Nittany Lions have now won 29 straight games against the Scarlet Knights.

Even more impressive? Rutgers hasn’t captured a single set against Penn State since 2001. Penn State’s last 16 wins over Rutgers have been sweeps.

Player Of The Match

Jonni Parker | Right-Side Hitter

Day in and day out, Jonni Parker steps up and produces for Penn State. Tonight, she led the team with 11 kills on .421 hitting. The senior captain also dished out six assists and contributed four total blocks, three digs, and an ace.

What’s Next?

Penn State will finally head home after a long road trip to face No. 3 Ohio State on Sunday, September 26. First serve from Rec Hall is set for 4 p.m.

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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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