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No. 16 Penn State Women’s Volleyball Falls 3-2 To No. 1 Nebraska

No. 16 Penn State women’s volleyball (15-7, 9-4 Big Ten) was defeated 3-2 by No. 1 Nebraska (21-0, 12-0 Big Ten) Friday night in front of a White Out crowd of almost 7,000 folks at Rec Hall.

The Nittany Lions opened the match with a 2-0 lead, but after a fierce comeback, Nebraska hung on to remain undefeated and win its seventh straight outing against Penn State.

How It Happened

The fans were electrified after a Nebraska service error began the game. Penn State went up 4-0 before the Cornhuskers finally got on the board.

The Nittany Lions continued to shock the crowd and dominate and led 13-2. Nebraska strung together a few points in a row in the middle of the set, but it wasn’t enough to kill the Nittany Lions’ momentum.

Penn State used an all-around offensive attack to win the opening frame 25-15, finishing it with a .552 hitting percentage. Its season average coming into the game was .245.

Nebraska opened the second set by taking a quick 3-1 lead before a 5-0 Penn State run flipped the script to go up 8-4, causing a Nebraska timeout. However, the Huskers got back on track to bring it to 12-11.

This set was closer than the first, as Penn State had a lead that hovered around three points for the majority of it.

Nebraska brought its deficit to one at 23-22, or so it thought. A review determined the ball was not tipped by a Nittany Lion blocker at the net, reversing the original call and making it set point for Penn State.

The blue and white prevailed to win the set 25-23 and make it a 2-0 match lead.

Trying to avoid being swept, Nebraska jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third set and held onto that advantage for the rest of the frame. Penn State had its moments, especially up front from Jess Mruzik, who had four kills in the set.

Despite that, Merritt Beason and Harper Murray combined for 11 kills to lead the Huskers to a 25-18 third-set win for its first set victory of the night.

The beginning of the fourth set went back and forth, as neither team gained a lead of more than one until Nebraska went up 10-8.

The Huskers never looked back from there, taking a 17-10 lead, and eventual set win by a score of 25-20, sending the match to a fifth and final set.

Tension flowed through Rec Hall in the last set.

Beason had two kills early, bringing Nebraska’s lead to 4-1, which quickly turned to 8-3.

Penn State wasn’t done, though. It went on a 4-0 run to make it 8-7. From there, it remained tight until the end.

The Cornhuskers thought they had a 14-11 lead and match point, but Bekka Allick touched the net on the spike, so Nebraska was only up 13-12. Zoe Weatherington and Allie Holland then combined for a block to knot the game at 13-13.

Despite the extreme volume from the fans, Nebraska took the set’s last two points and won 15-13.

It was a valiant effort from a Penn State team that was once counted out, but the Huskers broke its hearts and won the match 3-2.

Takeaways

  • While they did win, the Cornhuskers definitely had trouble dealing with the crowd noise of a packed Rec Hall. To anyone who was at Rec Hall for this match, great job.
  • Penn State blocked extremely well in this match. There were multiple blockers at the net to meet Nebraska’s attackers, who have been largely successful all season.
  • Per usual, Jess Mruzik lit up the Nittany Lions’ offense. She finished the match with 21 kills on a .296 hitting percentage.

What’s Next?

After falling to Purdue two weeks ago, the Nittany Lions will aim to bounce back when they travel to West Lafayette, Indiana, to face the No. 19 Boilermakers at 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 5.

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About the Author

Michael Siroty

Michael Siroty is a rising sophomore from Westfield, New Jersey, majoring in broadcast journalism. When he isn't writing articles or making TikToks for Onward State, Siroty is either taking a peaceful walk around Beaver Stadium or at his summer day camp job. You can contact him to discuss your sushi order or music taste on Instagram and Twitter @msiroty or by email at [email protected].

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