Northwestern trips up No. 3 Penn State

Northwestern trips up No. 3 Penn State

The Nittany Lions went one for two on the road this past weekend in Illinois. On Saturday evening, Northwestern handed Penn State its second loss of the season in a five set match, (18-25, 25-23, 24-26, 25-27, 12-15).

The first set loss is very uncharacteristic of Penn State and seemed to throw them off for the rest of the match. The team had some high points but couldn’t seem to hold onto any bursts of momentum to carry them to a win.

Senior Megan Courtney continued to lead the offense with 14 kills and sophomore Simone Lee also joined her up top with 14 kills. Courtney had another double-double performance with 23 digs and Lee helped out defensively with four blocks.

Right behind the two leaders was redshirt senior Aiyana Whitney with 13 kills and five blocks. Sophomore Haleigh Washington also had nine kills and a team-high hitting percentage of .368 and team-high blocking total with 8 blocks.

The downfall of the Nittany Lions in this match was their attacking game, which is usually unstoppable with the talent they have at the net. They didn’t have as many attacking errors as Northwestern, but they also didn’t attack as much as Northwestern.

The team hitting percentage for the overall match was .193 and Northwestern’s was .211.

Since the beginning of the season, Penn State got used to the three game sweep style of winning. They haven’t been forced to face the rally-from-behind mentality until Northwestern and Nebraska.

As they return home this weekend, the Rec Hall atmosphere should help get them back on track for a win. They begin Friday night at 7 p.m. against Indiana and finish the weekend on Saturday at 7 p.m. against Purdue.