No. 13 Penn State Women’s Volleyball Defeats Michigan 3-1
No. 13 Penn State women’s volleyball (15-5, Big Ten 9-2) defeated Michigan (3-17, Big Ten 1-10) Friday night at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor.
The Nittany Lions started off their weekend in Michigan with 58 kills in another Big Ten conference win. Jess Mruzik and Camryn Hannah combined for 38 of those kills on the offense, pushing Penn State forward.
How It Happened
The game started off with the score knotted 3-3. Michigan then brought the momentum and earned its first lead of the game 11-10. The Nittany Lions could not regain their ground and continued to trail 19-14 in the first set.
Penn State began to close the gap 20-17 with a kill from Mruzik that forced a Michigan timeout. The Nittany Lions then tied it up 21-21 and a back-and-forth battle began to end the set.
Penn State took the 23-22 lead making Michigan take its second timeout and ultimately leading to Penn State’s set point. The Nittany Lions were able to finish off the set 25-22 with a kill from Taylor Trammel.
Set two began with a 4-1 start for the Nittany Lions, which was a jump from set one. After a few off games, right-side hitter Zoe Weatherington took to the court and earned three kills, helping to spark the offense.
The offense truly came alive in the latter half of the set as the Nittany Lions upped the score 18-11. Hannah also led the offense with a service ace to add to her six kills, making the score 23-15. Penn State then finished off set two 25-16.
The third set mirrored set one with a close score of 5-5. A miscalled hit from Michigan brought a challenge that eventually got overturned and put the Wolverines ahead 6-5. Michigan continued to stay ahead and led 16-14.
The Wolverines were the first to reach 20 and went up 22-18 before Penn State called a timeout. Michigan kept up and reached set point 24-20, and finished set three with their first win of the game 25-20.
The final set started off with Penn State down 5-3. The Wolverines kept the momentum in their favor and upped their lead 12-10. Penn State then tied the set 14-14 with a 4-0 scoring run. Two kills from both Hannah and Mruzik finally put the Nittany Lions in front 22-18.
The Nittany Lions persevered and finished the fourth set on a 10-4 scoring run to end the game winning 3-1.
- Even though Penn State pulled through with a win, the defense needs to be more cohesive to win bigger games. The backcourt needs to find consistency to ensure a better chance at winning against these larger opponents.
- Clemson transfer Hannah has continued to bring the power to this Nittany Lion offense. With 20 kills and a .395 hitting percentage, Hannah had kept Penn State ahead and has solidified herself as a starter for Penn State.
The Nittany Lions will face Michigan State at 7 p.m. Saturday, October 28, in East Lansing. The matchup will be on the Big Ten Network.
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