No. 11 Women’s Volleyball Shows Relentless Work Ethic in Two Tough Battles
Friday night’s matchup against No. 1 Nebraska presented a tremendous challenge for the Nittany Lions, who ultimately fell in five sets to the Huskers.
Both Nebraska and Penn State came out on fire in the first set. Leaders Ali Frantti (Spring Grove, Ill.) and Simone Lee (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) propelled the team to a victorious first set, 25-22.
Nebraska took the second and third sets, but the third set showed the Nittany Lions picking up their momentum once again. Bryanna Weiskircher (Rockford, Ill.) was subbed in to replace setter Abby Detering (Mentor, Ohio) in the third set to give Penn State a boost.
A tense fourth set showed that Penn State would not be counted out just yet. Lee notched eight kills as the leaderboard constantly changed. Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Weiskircher are noted as playing a significant role in getting the fourth set win for Penn State.
The heartbreaking fifth set was a struggle for the Nittany Lions, who finally rallied just as the Huskers were near match point. All their efforts were not enough, sadly, and the Huskers survived another day at No. 1, taking the game 3-2.
Penn State did not have much time to dwell on the loss as they had to quickly regroup in order to face the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday afternoon.
Unlike the previous day’s game, Penn State was the clear powerhouse on the court against the Hawkeyes. Penn State won in three sets, all of which took less than 90 minutes total.
Lee, Frantti, and Washington were yet again stars at the net, notching nine kills apiece with Washington recording 10 blocks.
Penn State dominated the first set 25-11 thanks to contributions from Washington and Tori Gorrell (Oakville, Ontario).
The second set was a bit more stressful as Iowa went on a 4-1 run, bringing them within six points of the Nittany Lions, who at the time led 21-15. After the timeout, Penn State only allowed one more point, and ultimately won the set 25-16.
The third and final set saw a lot of back-and-forth scoring, but a momentum swing started with a kill and a block from Washington allowed Penn State to head out on a 4-1 run. It was Washington again who locked in the win for Penn State, slamming down a final kill to bring the third set score to 25-17.
Penn State is on the road next weekend at Maryland on Friday and then at Ohio State on Saturday. Good luck, ladies!