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No. 13 Penn State Women’s Volleyball Loses To No. 6 Ohio State In Five Sets

No.13 Penn State women’s volleyball (13-3, 2-3 Big Ten) lost to No. 6 Ohio State (8-5, 3-2 Big Ten) in five sets (25-17, 25-15, 27-25, 25-22, 15-11) Friday in Columbus.

Despite a valiant effort in the last two sets, the Nittany Lions dropped their third Big Ten match of the season. Penn State outside hitter Kashauna Williams put on a clinic with 20 kills on the night in the losing effort.

How It Happened

Ohio State was first on the board with a quick 3-0 lead. The Buckeyes then extended their lead to 11-6 before a massive kill from Kashauna Williams forced an Ohio State timeout.

Penn State began to find its offensive stride, but constant pressure from the Buckeyes gave them a seven-point 21-14 lead going into the final points of the set.

Back-to-back hitting errors gave Ohio State the final points of the set with a score of 25-17.

The Nittany Lions started off the second set down once again 2-0, with the second point being an ace from Ohio State’s Gabby Gonzales. Penn State quickly got back in the game when it tied the set 3-3, but Ohio State quickly responded with three straight points to make it a 6-3 set.

The momentum began to swing in Penn State’s favor, but a Nittany Lions net touch violation was challenged by coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley and it stood, meaning Ohio State then went up 10-5. The Buckeyes kept tacking on the points as they extended their lead to 17-10. Two aces and some tough kills gave Ohio State an even bigger lead at 21-12.

A final kill from Ohio State gave it the second set with a bigger margin at 25-15.

The third set of the game started much like the second set with a 2-0 Ohio State lead. Penn State continued to fall behind, as it was down 7-3. Penn State started its comeback when it came within two at 19-17 thanks to two aces from freshman Alexa Markley.

The Nittany Lions then tied it 21-21 and at 23-23 before they took their first lead of the game. A serving error from Williams brought the tie to 24 before another Markley kill. Ohio State then tied again at 25, but two huge Penn State points awarded it the third set 27-25.

The next set started again with an Ohio State lead at 3-2. But, for the first time, Penn State was able to consistently keep the score close and get its biggest lead of the game, 13-10. Ohio State still didn’t let up, though, tying it at 17-17, 19-19, 21-21, and 22-22.

Penn State was finally able to pull away 24-22 before Ohio State called a timeout prior to the set point, but Penn State setter Seleisa Elisaia scored an ace to take set four 25-22.

The fifth and final set started off with a 3-3 tie before Ohio State took charge 6-4. The Buckeyes were able to keep the lead for the remainder of the set and win on a controversial call on a touch by Elesaia. The final set ended 15-11.

Takeaways

  • While this may have resulted in a loss for Penn State, it was refreshing to see so many hitters come up successful in the rotation. Kashauna Williams, Taylor Trammell, and Allie Holland all had positive hitting percentages tonight.
  • Tonight, Ohio State counted seven aces, which is extremely unprecedented from the Nittany Lions’ serve-receive defense. If they want to find success on the front line, they need to keep their balls in system.
  • Penn State is heavily reliant on its outside hitters, and with good reason from Zoe Weatherington and Willams, but the middle hitters can be electric if given the opportunity, as seen by Allie Holland tonight.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will be back at Rec Hall at 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 9, against Illinois for a special match that’ll feature Penn State’s original pink and black uniform colors.

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About the Author

Mara McKeon

Mara is a senior staff writer majoring in English and public relations. She loves all things sports and anything that has peanut butter. You can usually find her obsessing over country music or Penn State wrestling and counting down the days until she gets to see Luke Combs in Beaver Stadium. Feel free to reach her on Twitter @MckeonMara, and for more formal affairs, her email is [email protected].

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