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No. 14 Penn State Women’s Volleyball Defeats Iowa In Five Sets

No. 14 Penn State women’s volleyball (15-4, 4-4 Big Ten) beat Iowa (7-12, Big Ten 1-7) in five sets (27-25, 25-22, 25-15, 25-20, 15-13) Saturday night in Iowa City.

It may not have been pretty, but Penn State was able to sneak away with a win. Hitters Kashauna Williams and Allie Holland were the stars of the show, leading the Nittany Lions’ offense.

The team as a whole was also able to turn around its offensive performance, which is way up from its .017 hitting percentage against Nebraska on Friday.

How It Happened

Penn State started off in an immediate hole being down 4-1. Iowa continued to add on within the first 10 points by going up 7-3, forcing a Penn State timeout. A good run and an ace from Cassie Kuerschen sparked the momentum for the Nittany Lions, bringing them within one at 7-6.

Penn State kept pressing, and it finally got the 13-12 lead after another service ace, this time from Allie Holland. An 8-0 Penn State run upped the score to 17-12.

The game moved quickly, as the Nittany Lions extended their lead 20-15. But, a 6-0 scoring run threatened their lead as the score came within one at 20-19. Despite Penn State’s side out, the Hawkeyes tied it 21-21. The score tied again at 22-22, but Iowa was the first to set point at 24-22.

The set tied for a third time at 25-25, but Iowa was able to secure the last two points and take the first set 27-25.

Iowa started off strong again up 2-0. The battle intensified as Penn State brought it within one at 6-5 due to a strong Zoe Weatherington kill. The Nittany Lions then got their first lead of the set by taking an 8-7 advantage.

The Nittany Lions started to find success from their offense and kept their lead 16-13. Iowa never wavered, as it came back to tie it at 19-19, but Penn State was able to see the finish line up 23-21. Penn State reached set point at 24-22 and was able to stay consistent this time and take set two with a score of 25-22.

Unlike the first two sets, Penn State was first to get the lead up 5-1, courtesy of another Holland ace. Although the Nittany Lions acquired the early lead, a 4-0 scoring run for the Hawkeyes brought them within two at 9-7. The momentum swung in the Nittany Lions’ favor again with a 16-10 score, and an ace from setter Seleisa Elisaia then led for an Iowa timeout.

The score continued to climb, as Penn State was up eight at 20-12. Iowa was unable to rally as Penn State kept pushing to take set three 25-15.

In set four, Iowa was first to strike, starting up 6-3. The Hawkeyes continued their lead at 10-5 with a staggering .724 hitting percentage in the first 15 points of the set. A 3-0 run from Penn State brought it back within three 16-13.

Iowa was the first to 20 with a score of 20-18. The Hawkeyes tacked on two more points before a much-needed Penn State timeout was called. The break was no help, as Iowa took the fourth set 25-20.

The fifth and final set of the game gave Penn State the quick 1-0 start. The score was then tied at three before Iowa went up 4-3. The set was again knotted at 6-6 and 7-7, but Iowa was the first to pull away 10-8.

Penn State came back to tie it 10-10 and was able to turn on the jets to get to match point at 14-12, but Iowa scored to make it 14-13.

The Nittany Lions were finally able to win the match with another Williams kill, taking the last set 15-13.

Player Of The Game

Kashauna Williams | Outside Hitter

This comes as no surprise since Williams has been dominant all season, but she once again took over the court Saturday.

Including Saturday, Williams has over 200 kills on the season, leading the team by more than 50 kills. Aside from her stats, Williams’s commanding swing is easily the most intense in this Nittany Lion lineup. No matter the opponent or the time of the set, Williams is an extremely dependable player.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will travel to College Park, Maryland, to battle the Terrapins at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 21.

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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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