No. 14 Penn State Women’s Volleyball Dominates Michigan State 3-1
No. 14 Penn State Women’s Volleyball (18-8, 12-5 Big Ten) defeated Michigan State (16-12, 8-9 Big Ten) 3-1 in Rec Hall Friday night in the annual “Silent Set” match.
The Nittany Lions were anything but silent defensively as the Spartans only scored more than 20 points in the first set. Penn State also had 10 blocks and 42 digs throughout the defensive performance.
How It Happened
Zoe Weatherington started things off with a kill off the first serve of the match. At 3-3, Camryn Hannah earned the first ace of the night followed by a block by Jess Mruzik to give Penn State the 5-3 lead. After a point by the Spartans, Murzik earned another kill to make it 6-4 in favor of the Nittany Lions.
The crowd erupted after a kill by Taylor Trammell to give Penn State the 9-7 lead and close its silent set. The crowd continued to stay loud as Michigan State started to catch fire and took the lead at 13-12. However, an ace by Allie Holland and a kill by Trammell resulted in a Spartan timeout as Penn State regained the lead at 15-13.
Out of the timeout, Zuzanna Kulig got the kill for the Spartans, and both teams continued to go back and forth for the next several minutes with multiple lead changes. Taylah Holdem earned a kill for Michigan State, and an error on Mruzik led to a Penn State timeout as the Spartans led 22-20. After the break, a service error by the Spartans and Mruzik’s kill led to another Spartan timeout with the set tied at 22-22.
After the timeout, two errors by Michigan State and an error by Penn State made it 24-23. Trammell had a kill that was ruled as an attack error, tying the set 24-24, and Rec Hall was filled with boos from the fans. An ace by Kulig and a kill by Aliyah Moore earned Michigan the first set at 26-24.
The second set started with a service error by Mruzik and a Weatherington kill to make it 1-1. Following a Michigan State kill, Penn State struck three straight times to make it 5-2. The Nittany Lions continued to apply the pressure with back-to-back kills from Anjelina Starck and Mruzik to make it 8-5 Penn State.
Michigan State started to mount a comeback with two kills by Holdem and an error on Trammell to cut the deficit down to one. The Spartans then tied the set at 11-11 off a kill by Evie Doezema, but Penn State struck back with a kill of its own by Holland. Then, a Michigan State error made it a 13-11 Nittany Lions.
Michigan State earned a kill then Hannah and Mruzik both earned one as well, resulting in a Spartans’ timeout at 15-12, Penn State. The Nittany Lions then scored three more times off of a kill by Starck and two Michigan State errors that led to another Spartan timeout at 18-14.
The rest of the set was all Nittany Lions with Weaterington and Trammell combining for three straight blocks followed by an ace by Gillian Grimes that earned Penn State the second set 25-17.
Weatherington and Trammell teamed up again with back-to-back kills to give the Nittany Lions the 2-0 lead to start the third set. Hannah then earned three straight kills for Penn State to extend the lead to 5-2. Penn State got into a groove, scoring four unanswered points that forced a Michigan State timeout at 10-4 Penn State.
Out of the break, Penn State continued to add to the lead including a diving play by Grimes that led to a kill by Hannah to give the Nittany Lions a 16-8 lead. From that point on, Penn State didn’t let up.
At 17-10, Penn State scored three unanswered to make it 20-10. An ace by Holland and a kill by Mac Podraza made it 25-11 as Penn State earned its second set.
Both teams went back and forth to start the fourth set until an error on Michigan State and an ace by Hannah gave Penn State a 5-3 lead. However, the back-and-forth play resumed and continued to do so until Penn State scored three unanswered times to make it 12-8 Penn State.
At that point, the Nittany Lions had a grip on the match as three more unanswered points led to another Michigan State timeout at 16-9 in favor of Penn State. Penn State then closed out the final set 25-18.
- After upsetting No. 2 Wisconsin last week, the Nittany Lions continued to stay hot as they have now won three straight matches as the regular season comes to an end.
- Mruzik shined again offensively with 19 kills and a hitting percentage of .484.
- With 44 assists tonight, Podraza reached 5,000 career assists against Michigan State.
The Nittany Lions take on Northwestern at 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 18, in Rec Hall for Senior Day.
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