NCAA Regionals: Hawaii shocks No. 7 Penn State

NCAA Regionals: Hawaii shocks No. 7 Penn State

On Friday evening in Des Moines, Iowa, Hawaii put an end to Penn State’s NCAA playoff run in a 3-0 sweep (22-25,25-27, 16-25).

Redshirt senior Aiyana Whitney led the offense with ten kills but didn’t do much on defense. Sophomore Haleigh Washington and senior Megan Courtney had nine kills each and Washington had the best hitting percentage for the team, .421. Washington led the defense with two blocks and Courtney had one block and nine digs.

Sophomore Ali Frantti added to the offense with seven kills and one block and six digs for defense. Sophomore Bryanna Weiskircher kept things consistent with 39 assists, one ace and helped the team to a .228 hitting percentage.

Senior Kendall Pierce led the defense with 14 digs and two aces.

Overall, Penn State’s performance wasn’t that bad and pretty consistent with the team’s performance this season. Hawaii simply played better. The Rainbow Wahine had a team hitting percentage of .389 and out blocked the Nittany Lions 5-3.

Hawaii hitters Tai Manu-Olevao and Nikki Taylor were too much for Penn State’s defense to handle. Taylor tallied 18 kills and Manu-Olevao had 14.

The Nittany Lions played a hard fought first two sets and kept the scores close, sending the second set into extra points. But by the third set, Penn State lost all momentum as Hawaii used the advantage to carry the team to victory.

The following evening, Hawaii met with Minnesota and was eliminated from the tournament as well. The semifinals and championship game will take place this upcoming weekend.

As for Penn State, the team accepted the loss in a well-played match from both sides of the net. The season ended a bit shorter than everyone would have liked, but there’s always next year.