The Competition is Still Alive

The Competition is Still Alive

Sweep after sweep after sweep and finally things get a little bit interesting in Penn State’s 3-2 win over No. 21 Minnesota on Saturday evening (25-22. 25-16, 19-25, 20-25, 15-12). Despite the added excitement, the match put an end to Penn State’s 32 game winning streaks that started last October.

It’s no surprise that in five sets four Nittany Lions put up double-digit kill performances. Senior Megan Courtney dominated the net with 22 kills, followed by redshirt senior Aiyana Whitney and sophomores Ali Frantti and Haleigh Washington who all had 13 kills each.

A few fresh faces carried the defense also recording double-digit digs. Freshman libero Keeton Holcomb came out on top with 18 digs followed by veteran Courtney with 13 digs. Redshirt freshman Bryanna Weiskircher contributed 12 digs and junior Taylor Krause had a career-high performance coming off the bench with 10 digs.

After winning the first two sets it looked like it was going to be a routine sweep for the Nittany Lions, but Minnesota played off of Penn State errors in the third set to secure the win. Penn State only had nine kills followed by nine attacking errors, giving Minnesota a gateway to the 5-4 run that won them the third set.

The Gophers continued their momentum into the fourth set as they battled to a 17-17 tie score. From there, Minnesota came out of a timeout with four unanswered points and then tripped up its momentum with a service error. Penn State took advantage of the error and followed with a kill, but the team couldn’t finish the match as the Gophers captured the final four points to win the set.

Penn State started off strong with a 5-3 to begin the fifth set. The teams went back and forth until Penn State got ahead by three at 12-9 and forced Minnesota into a timeout.

The Gophers came back with a promising kill before halting their own momentum with a service error followed by a kill from Washington to make it match point at 14-11. Penn State also ran into a little service error, but Frantti finished the job with a kill and closed the match for the Penn State win.

This week Penn State welcomes Nebraska and Iowa to Rec Hall as the Big Ten match ups continue. The team will take on Nebraska on Friday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. followed by Iowa on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. The Huskers game will be televised on the Big Ten Network and the Hawkeyes game will serve as Penn State’s annual Dig Pink night.