Nittany Lions Sweep Ohio State Behind Reed’s Career Night
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa – The Penn State Nittany Lions (13-3, 4-2 Big Ten) avenged an early season loss, defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes (11-7, 2-4 Big Ten) in three sets.
Behind redshirt senior Nia Reed’s career-high 15 kills and .500 hitting percentage, the No. 9 Nittany Lions proved to be too much for Ohio State. Taylor Leath’s 9 kills and .389 hitting percentage were also a big contribution to the Nittany Lions’ winning effort.
In front of the 4,406 attendees in Rec Hall on Saturday the Nittany Lions started the match strong winning the first set 25-13 behind three kills from Reed, Leath, and freshman Serena Gray.
Head coach Russ Rose was thankful for the fans support.
“I thought it was great energy in the gym tonight,” Rose said, “It was great to have such an enthusiastic crowd we’re very appreciative of the people who support the program… I thought it kind of gave the players a little more energy at the start.”
During a more competitive and eventful second set which included a kick save by redshirt senior Bryanna Weiskircher that sent the crowd into a frenzy. Ohio State freshman Vanja Bukilic, who came into the match leading her team with 189 kills, tried to will her team to tie the match as she registered six kills during the second set. But was outdone by Reed’s seven kills during the set.
Reed who returned from injury four games ago is using the injury as motivation for the rest of her senior season.
“My mindset is totally different when I step on the court,” Reed said, “I always want to kill the ball but knowing that at any point it could be your last swing, your last this, your last that, it really gives you the extra drive.”
In the third set, Ohio State gave it its all as they tried to avoid being defeated in straight sets. The Buckeyes led 17-15 before Nia Reed once again made her presence known scoring two kills to tie the match at 17.
“She’s kind of an energizer bunny,” Weiskircher said of Reed, “She’s very excited when she’s out there on the court and I think it helps everyone feel confident and ready to go.”
The Nittany Lions would not trail again during the match and won the final set 25-22.
Service errors plagued Ohio State all night as they registered 10, including two service errors that gave Penn State set point. One of those errors was in the final set and the Nittany Lions capitalized on both errors committed by their opponent.
The Nittany Lions have now won four straight and will look to extend their streak to five when they head to West Lafayette, Indiana to take on the Purdue Boilermakers on Wednesday, October 10.
Jerome Taylor is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.