No. 9 Women’s Volleyball has met their Match in No. 16 Michigan
The game was a tense one, taken all the way to five sets, all of which were extremely close in score. At the end of the day, however, it was the Wolverines who came out victorious.
The first set opened up with Michigan showing its dominance, eventually going on a run leading to an 8-4 lead, resulting in a Penn State timeout. Despite the time to collect themselves, the Nittany Lions still struggled to keep up with Michigan, and had to call another timeout as they trailed 16-9.
Strong efforts from Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Heidi Thelen (Edgewood, Ky.) helped swing the momentum in Penn State’s favor, bringing Penn State within one point of tying the set, 23-22. It was ultimately Michigan who notched the first set win with a kill, 25-23.
The second set showed a momentum swing in Penn State’s favor as Abby Detering (Mentor, Ohio) added a kill to add to the adrenaline rush. Simone Lee (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) also added a kill to keep Penn State alive.
Ali Frantti (Spring Grove, Ill.) and Washington were major factors in bringing Penn State to the lead and finishing the set ahead, 25-17.
Penn State came out hot in the third set with an early 4-2 lead. However, Michigan returned the favor with a 3-1 run, putting both teams in hot contention for a set win.
Lee kept the Nittany Lions’ heads above water with a kill to put Penn State in the lead 20-18. Tori Gorrell (Oakville, Ontario) contributed multiple crucial blocks that allowed the Lions to stay on track for the rest of the set. An unfortunate scoring blitz by Michigan allowed them to win the third, 29-27.
Penn State brought the fire for the fourth set, creating a 5-2 lead with contributions from Lee and Washington. Michigan retaliated, but Lee slammed down her 19th kill of the night to bring Penn State back to life.
Multiple more runs by Michigan were responded to with poise and grace by Penn State, who notched the fourth set win, 25-23.
The fifth set was sadly not in the Lions’ favor, as a strong scoring string by the Wolverines sealed the deal with a Michigan win, 15-9.
Despite the difficult loss, Penn State has a chance to get back on track next weekend as they take on two of the most formidable opponents in the country: No. 1 Wisconsin and No. 4 Minnesota, both on the road. Both will be aired on the Big Ten Network.