No. 13 Penn State Women’s Volleyball Falls To No. 2 Nebraska In Straight Sets
No. 13 Penn State women’s volleyball (13-4, 7-1 Big Ten) was swept by Nebraska (17-0, 8-0 Big Ten) at the Bob Devaney Center on Saturday night.
The Nittany Lions fought until the very end, but Nebraska’s high-octane offense and smothering defense proved to be too much for them.
How It Happened
The Huskers quickly climbed out to a 5-0 lead, swarming the nets and forcing Penn State’s offense into a pair of attack errors. The Nittany Lions finally got on the board after a Nebraska attack error and back to back kills from Camryn Hannah and Jess Mruzik, bringing the game to 6-3.
Nebraska’s offense caught fire midway through the first set, recording 11 kills in their first 15 points, but Jess Mruzik snatched some momentum back for the Nittany Lions with a nicely placed kill from the outside, bringing the game to 11-15. After a Nebraska attack error was reversed in favor of the Huskers, the Nittany Lions clawed back with a 4-0 run, bringing the score to 16-18 and forcing a Husker timeout.
Nebraska answered back out of its timeout with a Lindsay Krause kill, her eighth of the first set, and then a block from Andi Jackson extended their lead to 21-17. A thunderous kill from Mruzik, a Huskers attack error, and a service error gave the Nittany Lions a spark, now only down by two. The Nittany Lions pushed the Huskers to their limit on set point with a brilliant rally, but they weren’t able to close out the point, falling 22-25 in the first set.
After trailing for the entire first set, the Nittany Lions finally took their first lead of the match, climbing to a 5-1 lead off of a Camryn Hannah kill and a bad strand of attack errors from the Huskers. Penn State’s hot start to the second set continued with a Mzurik kill, extending the 8-0 Nittany Lions run.
Both teams dealt with some serving struggles which drained the momentum from the Nittany Lion’s lead to 11-5. Nebraska’s offense suddenly got rolling, stealing some momentum from Penn State and cutting their lead to 12-14. Penn State’s Taylor Trammell continued her efficient offensive night with a perfectly placed floater that found a hole in Nebraska’s defense, extending Penn State’s lead 18-16.
The game was all tied up at 20-20 after a Penn State service error, but Nebraska finally took its first lead of the set after a Mzurik attack error and a kill by Nebraska’s Krause.
Nebraska snatched all the momentum with a 4-0 run after a Jackson block, bringing the score to 24-21. Nebraska secured the second set 25-22 with a kill right into the heart of the Penn State defense.
After a frustrating ending to the second set for the Nittany Lions, they found themselves down 3-5 to start the third set due to some struggles at the net.
Nebraska’s suffocating defense made another appearance, not only recording multiple stuffs at the net but also causing a pair of attack errors by the Nittany Lions, pushing the Huskers lead 12-7. Nebraska’s 13th service error of the night and a strong block by Mruzik cut the lead 10-13.
Nebraska’s avalanche-esque offense got rolling again, constantly poking balls through the Penn State defense which kept the Nittany Lions offense out of rhythm. The Huskers climbed out to a 17-11 lead but a Zoe Weatherington block and a Mruzik kill stopped the bleeding a bit to regain traction at 13-17.
The Nittany Lions cut the lead to four points at 15-19, but they quickly lost their grip on the set after a Penn State attack error and two kills from the Huskers brought the score to 22-15. The Nittany Lions found some life late in the third set, going on a 3-0 run thanks to some defensive tenacity at the night, cutting the Husker lead down to 23-19. The last ditch effort from the Nittany Lions was honorable but they fell short at the end of the day, losing the third and final set 19-25.
- Nebraska found success by forcing Mac Podraza off her spot, throwing off the rhythm of her sets and disrupting the flow of the Nittany Lion offense. Ideally, more defensive success at the net could’ve helped slow things down for the Nittany Lions.
- Jess Mruzik attempted 53 of Penn State’s 111 attempted attacks and recorded a .073 hitting percentage, which was her third-lowest mark of the season. While she is undoubtedly the best outside hitter on the squad, there was way too much dependency on her tonight. The Penn State offense needs more help from its other outside hitters not named Jess Mruzik.
The Nittany Lions will return to Happy Valley to face Iowa at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 20, in the Rec Hall.
Your ad blocker is on.
Please choose an option below.
Purchase a Subscription!
About the Author
Kotelnicki’s hiring was first reported Thursday afternoon.
Kylie Morgan and Chase Rice opened for Old Dominion as fans were treated to nearly four hours of country music Friday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.
The Nittany Lions dropped their matchup against Minnesota but found a way to give back during the process.