Two in a row: No. 4 Penn State takes a loss against Michigan

Two in a row: No. 4 Penn State takes a loss against Michigan

The Nittany Lions finally returned home Wednesday evening after four straight games on the road. They looked to redeem themselves after their last loss at Minnesota, but came up short in a 3-1 win for Michigan (25-14, 22-25, 22-25, 22-25).

Sophomore Haleigh Washington finished first on the team with an outstanding performance– 12 kills, five blocks and a .714 hitting percentage. Sophomore Ali Frantti and redshirt senior Aiyana Whitney followed her with 10 kills each. Frantti also posted three blocks and Whitney totaled a team-high seven blocks.

Senior Megan Courtney followed close behind with nine kills, three blocks and tied for first on the team with 12 digs. Freshman Keeton Holcomb and redshirt freshman Bryanna Weiskircher each totaled 12 digs. Weiskircher also tallied 38 assists, which contributed to the team hitting percentage of .210.

When looking at team stats, Penn State and Michigan were very close. The Nittany Lions out blocked Michigan 14-8, totaled more service aces 7-4, and the team-hitting percentages were not far off from each other with Penn State slightly behind .210-.213. Even error totals were pretty similar on both sides.

The key element that handed Michigan the win was its scoring runs. Michigan went on runs with as many as six unanswered points that either finished a set or carried the team to the match point. These big runs came at crucial times and Penn State wasn’t able to break up the Wolverines’ momentum in time to conjure up a comeback.

The loss puts the Nittany Lions at 24-4 overall and 13-4 in the Big Ten.

Penn State remains at home this Saturday as they face Maryland at 7 p.m. in Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions last met up with the Terps two weeks ago and captured a 3-1 victory in College Park, Md. After Maryland, Penn State has one more home match of the season. Hopefully the team can give the home crowd two more wins.