NCAA First Rounds: Howard No Match for No. 7 Penn State

NCAA First Rounds: Howard No Match for No. 7 Penn State

Friday night in Rec Hall, Penn State hosted first round games of the NCAA tournament. The Nittany Lions swept their first opponent, Howard, in three sets (25-16, 25-8, 25-17).

Sophomore Ali Frantti steered the offense with 12 kills followed by redshirt senior Aiyana Whitney who had 10 kills.

Sophomore Haleigh Washington was close behind with eight kills and team-high hitting percentage of .636. She topped the defense with seven blocks. Senior Megan Courtney pulled her weight all over the court. She totaled seven kills, three assists, one ace, five blocks and team-high ten digs.

Redshirt freshman Bryanna Weiskircher followed behind Courtney with nine digs and steadied the offense with 32 assists and led the team to a .424 hitting percentage.

Looking at the stats overall, Howard really couldn’t handle Penn State in any part of the game. The Bison’s hitting percentage for the second and third sets was .000. It’s hard to win any match with an offensive game such like that.

This wasn’t the Nittany Lions’ best performance either, but it was more than enough to push them through to the next round.

The home court advantage and first round win should build up Penn State’s confidence and help the team bounce back from its final regular season loss against Nebraska.

Dayton pushed past Villanova on Friday evening with a match score of 3-1 and will now face Penn State in the second rounds of the NCAA tournament.

Dayton’s overall record for the season was 27-5 and 14-0 in their conference. The two teams square off at Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. in Rec Hall. The winner of this match will move on to the NCAA regionals, which will take place in Des Moines, Iowa on Dec. 11-12.