Bouncing Back

Bouncing Back

A new week, new opponents, new mindsets and a win in the books for Penn State women’s volleyball team and Coach Russ Rose. The five set win against No. 14 Purdue on Friday was just what the Nittany Lions needed to boost their confidence (26-24, 23-25, 22-25, 25-23, 15-9).

This week, Penn State brought a new factor to the court, a thing called balance. Not one of the girls single-handedly dominated the court, they each did their jobs and it worked out pretty well for them.

Aiyana Whitney led the team with 18 kills, adding two digs and three blocks. Freshman Ali Frantti followed her lead with 16 kills, seven digs and one block. To finish out the hitting trio, Nia Grant also had a double-digit game with 12 kills, two digs and three blocks. Grant also clutched the team’s highest hitting percentage with .429.

Micha Hancock helped out with 53 assists, ten digs and match-high six aces. Dominique Gonzalez carried the defense with 16 digs and added two aces. Megan Courtney continued to struggle at the net with her hitting, but made up for it on defense. She held the team’s second highest total of both 14 digs and five blocks.

Notice not one girl controlled both offense and defense. The teamwork and communication pulled through and handed Penn State the win after five back and forth sets.

The Nittany Lions won the first set then lost the following two with tight scores at end. Surely, Penn State fans tuned into BTN were having flashbacks to that heartbreaking, last minute loss to Illinois the week before.

Who knows what Rose said in the locker room after the third set, but low and behold the Nittany Lions won those final two sets. PSU rallied back from a 17-11 deficit to win the fourth set then captured and held a lead to win the final set.

Going into Saturday Penn State was 17-3, 5-2 in the Big Ten. The team headed to Indiana to take on the Hoosiers at 7 p.m. Saturday evening.