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No. 20 Penn State Women’s Volleyball Defeats Loyola Maryland

No. 20 Penn State women’s volleyball (2-0) took down Loyola Maryland (1-2) in four sets (22-25, 25-17, 25-18, 25-17) on Saturday morning.

Penn State’s offensive firepower from Zoe Weatherington and Allie Holland helped propel the Nittany Lions to their second win of the season.

How It Happened

Both teams played a tight game to open the first set, knotted up with five points apiece through the first ten. Penn State was able to create some separation, as two kills and a service ace strengthened a five-point run before Loyola worked the score back to 12-11 and forced a time-out from the home side.

Penn State head coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley’s timeout slowed Loyola’s run down but didn’t stop it entirely, as the Greyhounds took a 13-14 lead, a slight difference they were able to maintain. Penn State kept the game close, as both sides traded kills en route to a close 22-23 set. Another timeout from Schumacher-Cawley wasn’t enough to work the Nittany Lions over the edge, as two more strong points from Loyola gave the Greyhounds the first set, 22-25.

Just as in the first set, Penn State controlled early on, taking a 9-5 lead. The Nittany Lions maintained their control in the second set, this time forcing Loyola to take a timeout with a 13-8 scoreline. The timeout didn’t make much of a difference, as the Greyhounds called another when the home side took an 18-11 lead. Penn State continued to control the second set comfortably, as its good ball placement and missed serves gave them a 25-17 win.

Consistency was key for the Nittany Lions, as tight play at the net gave them an 8-4 lead early in the third set. That lead continued to grow throughout the set. Penn State’s combination of aces, kills, and errors from Loyola gave it the 17-10 lead. While Penn State inched closer to taking the third set, Loyola worked the score back, to 21-18. The Nittany Lions were able to close out, as an ace put the Rec Hall crowd on its feet and a kill from Kashauna Williams closed out the set, 25-18.

For the first time in the match, Loyola began a set with a lead. The Greyhounds went up 6-3 early on, benefiting from Penn State’s errors during play and service. That three-point deficit held as the Nittany Lions struggled to keep their more powerful hits in bounds.

Slowly but surely, Penn State began to take more control, tying the game at 16 points apiece, the first time that Loyola surrendered the lead during the fourth set. Coming out of a timeout called by the Greyhounds, Williams gave the Nittany Lions their first lead, and they went on a roll. When Alexa Markley’s serve went unchallenged for an ace to give Penn State a 21-16 lead, it was evident that the match wouldn’t go to a fifth set. Moments later, a 25-17 win gave Penn State its second win of the season.

Takeaways

  • Weatherington is a force to be reckoned with. Throughout the match, she made her presence known at the net recording 13 kills. Her offensive power gave Penn State a critical boost in the fourth set, pushing it to a win.
  • Momentum was massive for Penn State. The team was able to perform when it mattered most, even with the odds against them. After dropping the first set, it took the next three; and after looking vulnerable in the fourth set, it pushed back to take that to secure the win.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will play their final match of the Penn State Invitational against West Virginia later on Saturday, August 27, at 7 p.m.

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a sophomore journalism major at Penn State. He enjoys yelling into the Twitter void over various sports items that don't really matter. If you ever want to meet him, Joe's usually watching soccer with his shirt off or at the gym with his shirt on. Find (and disagree with him) on Twitter (Joe_Lister21).

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