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No. 14 Penn State Women’s Volleyball Swept By No. 3 Nebraska

No. 14 Penn State women’s volleyball (14-4, Big Ten 3-4) was defeated by No. 3 Nebraska (15-1, Big Ten 7-0) in straight sets (25-18, 25-22, 25-9) Friday night in Lincoln.

After narrowly losing the first two sets, the Nittany Lions were absolutely dominated in the third and final set, dropping it 25-9.

How it Happened

Nebraska started off strong, quickly going up 5-2. Kills by Katie Clark and Alexa Markley helped to close the gap, tying the teams at 7-7. Several blocks from former Nittany Lion Kaitlyn Hord extended the lead to 14-10 in favor of the Huskers.

The Nittany Lions went on a 3-0 scoring run, but it wasn’t enough to put them ahead, leaving the score 16-15. Penn State took its first timeout of the set as it continued to trail 19-15. Strong blocks from Nebraska led it to a 25-18 victory in the first set.

Penn State began the second set with some key blocks, something the team lacked in the first set, giving it their first lead of the match, 4-3. The Nittany Lions and the Cornhuskers traded several points until multiple kills and another block from Hord extend Nebraska’s lead to 10-7.

Following a Penn State timeout, the Nittany Lions went on a 4-0 scoring run, nearly catching up to Nebraska 13-12. Unfortunately, the Huskers answered with a 3-0 scoring run of their own. Penn State trailed again, but another scoring run put it almost even with Nebraska 21-20.

After Nebraska used its second timeout, the Nittany Lions almost caught up, but they just couldn’t get there. Penn State lost the second set 25-22.

The Cornhuskers used the momentum they had gained from the previous two sets to begin the third set 9-2. Nebraska maintained and even extended that significant lead through the remainder of the set with a score of 21-9. A few more kills by Nebraska wrapped the match up, with the third set’s score finishing at 25-9.

Takeaways

  • Blocking seemed to be one place where the Nittany Lions really struggled during this game, in both executing them and allowing them. In the first set, while the Cornhuskers had 7 blocks, the Nittany Lions had none. This difference continued throughout the game, with Penn State’s number of blocks being significantly lower than usual. By the end of the match, Nebraska had four times as many blocks as the Nittany Lions.
  • Ultimately, Nebraska has always been a tough opponent. The Nittany Lions are 11-25 in the all-time series with Nebraska, and the Huskers are currently ranked No. 3, so it’s no surprise that this was a tough match.
  • There were some impressive performances from graduate student Katie Clark and freshman Alexa Markley, two names that aren’t common in the starting lineup. The women combined for 12 kills, as the duo led the Nittany Lions with seven and five kills each, respectively. It may be interesting to keep an eye on Clark and Markley in future games.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions travel to Iowa tomorrow night to continue Big Ten conference play. First serve is scheduled for 8 p.m.

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About the Author

Haylee Yocum

Haylee is a 2024 graduate of Penn State with a degree in immunology and infectious disease. She relocated to Williamsport but will not be taking any questions about what’s next in her career. Haylee continues to be fueled by dangerous amounts of caffeine and dreams of smashing the patriarchy. Any questions or discussion about Taylor Swift’s best songs can be directed to @hayleeq8 on Twitter if you must.

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