No. 19 Penn State Women’s Volleyball Sweeps Michigan 3-0
No. 19 Penn State women’s volleyball (16-8, 10-5 Big Ten) broke its three-game losing streak in a 3-0 sweep over Michigan (6-18, 4-11 Big Ten). After a very competitive back-and-forth start to the match, the Nittany Lions continued to wear down the Wolverines to pull off the sweep.
How It Happened
The Wolverines started off strong with back-to-back aces from Hannah Grant until Allie Holland struck first for the Nittany Lions with the first kill of the contest to make it 2-1 Michigan. The two teams went back and forth early on as Michigan maintained a consistent two-point lead until Holland earned another kill to knot the set at 8-8.
Mac Podraza earned Penn State’s first ace of the night to give the Nittany Lions their first lead at 12-11. The back-and-forth battle continued until Zoe Weatherington got a kill off a Podraza assist to give the Nittany Lions a 15-13 lead and cause Michigan to use its first timeout.
Out of the timeout, Jess Mruzik had a service error, but Penn State continued the pressure with kills from Weatherington and Mruzik and defensive plays at the net that contributed to a 20-17 lead. The Wolverines clawed back to tie the set 20-20 with kills from Kendall Murray and Grant along with an ace from Maddi Cuchran that led to a Penn State timeout.
The teams kept exchanging blows until Michigan used another timeout as Penn State led 23-22. After the timeout, Weatherington earned a kill that put the Nittany Lions within one of the set until a net violation on Taylor Trammell earned the Wolverines a point. However, Trammell had a block assist that led to a Michigan error and a 25-23 set win for the Nittany Lions.
The Nittany Lions started the second set with an ace from Hannah and a kill from Holland to make it 2-1 Penn State. Michigan tied the set moments later at 3-3 until Podraza made a diving play that led to her earning an assist off a Trammell kill. The play was then followed by a Mruzik kill to extend the lead to 5-3.
The back-and-forth play began once again, but this time, Penn State kept a consistent two-point lead. Mruzik and Holland kills led to the Nittany Lions widening the gap to a 14-9 lead as Michigan used its first timeout of the set.
Penn State kept its momentum out of the Wolverine timeout with back-to-back aces from Hannah to give Penn State a 16-9 lead. Kills from Amalia Simmons and Cuchran along with a Podraza service error brought the Wolverines within five at 19-14.
Penn State continued its strong offensive performance to make it a 23-16 lead until two attack errors from Hannah and an ace from Michigan’s Morgan Burke helped cut the lead to three at 23-20. Attack errors on Weatherington and Holland then made it a 23-22 Penn State lead.
However, Weatherington struck back with a kill that erupted the Rec Hall crowd followed by an attack error on Burke that earned the Nittany Lions the second set at 25-22.
The third set started with kills from Podraza, Mruzik, and an ace from Holland to make it 3-1 Nittany Lions. Penn State then made it a 9-5 lead after another Weatherington kill.
Michigan used its first timeout of the set after three attack errors for the Wolverines and an ace by Gillian Grimes to give Penn State the 12-7 lead. After the break, two more attack errors by Michigan and a kill by Holland gave Penn State a commanding 14-9 lead.
At 17-10, Michigan used yet another timeout after Hannah recorded an ace and kill along with another Mruzik kill. The Nittany Lions continued to apply the pressure as they closed out the set 25-13 to complete the sweep.
- Penn State continued its home dominance as Michigan continued its road struggles. The Nittany Lions are now 10-2 on the season at Rec Hall as the Wolverines are 0-10 on the road.
- Mruzik’s kill streak continues. This marks her eighth straight match with double-digit kills as she recorded 13 against Michigan.
- Coming into the game, the Nittany Lions ranked third in the nation in blocks per set and were tied for 11th in total blocks. Tonight, they racked up 10 total blocks.
The Nittany Lions will face No. 2 Wisconsin at 8 p.m. on Saturday, November 11, at Rec Hall. The top-20 matchup will be aired on the Big Ten Network.
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