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No. 13 Penn State Women’s Volleyball Sweeps UMBC In Straight Sets

No. 13 Penn State women’s volleyball (5-3) silenced UMBC (5-4) in three straight sets Friday night.

The Nittany Lions faced UMBC in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament, where Penn State blanked the Retrievers in straight sets, and it seems little has changed between then and now.

Penn State was all smiles on the court throughout the game as the team played some of its best volleyball all season, racking up 46 kills and a 0.351 hitting percentage.

It was a memorable night all around as Camryn Hannah reached 1,000 career kills and the evening’s victory was the 700th win for Penn State women’s volleyball in Rec Hall.

How It Happened

The first set opened with a back-and-forth battle for the lead. On the fifth play of the night, Camryn Hannah reached a career 1,000 kills. After a shaky start to the set, the Nittany Lions lit up to go on a 5-0 run and forced UMBC’s first timeout as the team trailed 9-5.

Allie Holland put up a solo block to extend yet another scoring run by Penn State and pushed the Retrievers to take their second timeout at 16-9. UMBC came out of the second timeout absolutely fired up and right on the heels of the Nittany Lions.

Penn State fought for its points and battled through several long volleys to create an eight-point lead at 21-13. A service ace by Alexa Markley brought up set point for the Nittany Lions. Jess Mruzik put down a kill to wrap up the first set 25-17.

The beginning of set two brought a challenge from UMBC on a touch, but the call stood in Penn State’s favor. A Mruzik service ace and Markley kill catapulted the Nittany Lions to an early 7-4 lead.

The Retrievers took every chance they could get to keep the ball off of the court, frequently resulting in impressive volleys between the two teams. UMBC caught up to Penn State 11-11. Three consecutive kills from Mruzik brought the Retriever’s first timeout as the Nittany Lions surged to a 16-12 lead.

UMBC vowed to make it difficult for Penn State to take the second set, bringing up four set points before the Nittany Lions clinched set two 25-19.

Penn State got off on the right foot in the third set, taking an early lead thanks to a service error from UMBC. The Nittany Lions appeared eager to wrap things up, but the Retrievers didn’t back down and crept up on Penn State to trail by just one point at 9-8.

Penn State pushed back twice as hard and went on a 7-1 run to leave the Retrievers in the dust 16-9. A double block from Hannah and Holland sealed the deal for the match 25-17.

Player of the Game | Camryn Hannah

Hannah’s career 1,000 kills, reached early in the match, provided a spark for the right-side hitter to have an incredible night. Hannah tied Mruzik with 12 kills on the night and an overall hitting percentage of .381. She played plenty of defense as well, climbing to four blocks across the match.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will be back in Rec Hall to wrap up their action in the Penn State Classic on Saturday. Penn State will face Seton Hall at 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 16, at Rec Hall. The match will be streamed on BTN+.

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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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