Women’s Volleyball goes 2-1 in Nittany Lion Classic this Past Weekend

Women’s Volleyball goes 2-1 in Nittany Lion Classic this Past Weekend

Fall sports are now in full swing here in Happy Valley with the No. 9 Penn State women’s volleyball (2-1) team hosting their season opener, the Nittany Lion Classic, a round robin tournament, at home in Rec Hall this past weekend.

The women played a three game tournament, facing West Virginia, Georgia Southern, and North Carolina over a two day period.

Friday night, Penn State took on West Virginia to open up their season. Although West Virginia put up a good fight, Penn State won in three, by at least an eight point margin each time.

Statistically and visually, Penn State was clearly the stronger team on Friday evening, notching 40 kills to WVU’s 27, and rounding out the game with a .479 hitting percentage compared to the Mountaineer’s .119. The team had a few communications mishaps, but overall was strong in appearance and cohesiveness.

Newcomer freshman Kendall White (Indianapolis, Ind.) made her debut in Rec Hall by leading the team with 16 digs against WVU. Other strong performances were had by Heidi Thelen, Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Colo.), and Simone Lee (Menomonee Falls, Wis.).

Saturday morning was yet again another win for Penn State as they faced off against Georgia Southern in three sets.

Although Georgia fought hard in the first two sets, the third set was an absolute trouncing by Penn State, who captured the win with a third set score of 25-7.

Penn State captured four aces to Georgia Southern’s zero, and also secured eight team blocks compared to Georgia’s single team block.

Thanks to their impressive lead, the Nittany Lions were able to rotate multiple players in and out of the court, with a total of 16 ladies getting to show their skills.

Washington led Penn State with five blocks, and redshirt sophomore Bryanna Weiskircher (Rockford, Ill.) contributed a whopping 26 assists, eight digs, and one block.

The toughest game was saved for last: North Carolina. A team that was 21-10 in 2015, North Carolina had also beaten WVU and Georgia Southern in the Nittany Lion Classic. Penn State knew they had their work cut out for them in this third and final game.

Going to five sets, Penn State lost, going 2-1 and for tournament play.

The game was a bout of back-and-forth play, with Penn State winning the first (25-19) and third (25-21) sets, but losing the second (25-22), fourth (25-23), and final (15-9) sets.

Although the game was not a win for the Nittany Lions, multiple women shined bright on the court for blue and white; Lee added a career-high 23 kills, Ali Frantti (Spring Grove, Ill.), Washington, and Thelen contributed 11.

With the early season bumps out of the way, Penn State heads to Boulder, CO next weekend for the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge. They will face off against Colorado on Saturday and No. 11 Stanford on Sunday.