Penn State Topples Michigan, Extends Streak to 10

Story posted October 1, 2016 in Sports, CommRadio by Joseph Esquivel-Murphy

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.— The No. 16 Nittany Lions continued their winning ways as they beat the 22nd Michigan Wolverines in straight sets. Penn State has been dominant since the start of Big Ten play as they have not dropped a set in conference play.

In fact, the Nittany Lions have not dropped a set in the past 10 games, showing their dominance on the court. Penn State was great attacking the ball, finishing the night with a .432 hitting percentage.

Penn State women’s volleyball head coach Russ Rose applauded his team’s efforts against Wolverines, praising the way his team hit the ball.

“We moved the ball around well,” Rose said. “If you can hit .400, we don’t hit .432 in some practice drills. To be able to do it against a top 25 team with so many skilled players, you feel pretty good.”

Junior outside hitter Ali Frantti had a great night, pacing the Nittany Lions with 11 kills and a .391 hitting percentage. She was also an asset on the block, recording two blocks.

Simone Lee was another weapon on the block with four blocks. She struggled hitting the ball, recording a team-high four hitting errors, but did also log eight kills.

The service line was kind to Penn State as the Nittany Lions recorded eight service aces. Haleigh Washington led the Nittany Lions with three, and her consistent pressure from the line gave Michigan fits.

The good serving from the Nittany Lions made it difficult for the Wolverines to pass the ball well, holding Michigan to a .207 hitting percentage. While Rose applauded the effort of his defense, he said his team struggled containing Adeja Lambert, who played club ball with Frantti, Lee and Bryanna Weiskircher.

Lambert had the best performance amongst the Wolverines, recording a team-high 10 kills on a .286 hitting percentage. Michigan middle blocker Abby Cole was unable to get going against Penn State, as she failed to register a kill and recorded a hitting error.

The middle blocker trio of Washington, Tori Gorrell and Heidi Thelen were remarkable for the Nittany Lions, as they recorded 23 kills and only three hitting errors. Gorrell had nine kills and a team-high five blocks, making it hard for Michigan attackers to get off good swings.

Washington also recorded five blocks and added eight kills, showing her All-American form. Thelen only had six kills, but did not record a hitting error and had four blocks.

The middle blocker trio for Penn State has proven to be formidable, making it hard for any team to record points of their middles. The Nittany Lions next match is against the second-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers at home.

 

Joseph Esquivel-Murphy is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism and Spanish. To contact him, email jje5139@psu.edu