WVB: Penn State Cruises Past Rutgers in Straight Sets
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – On a night in which Penn State didn’t play their best, they took advantage of an error-filled performance by Rutgers (4-15, 0-6 Big Ten) to secure a relatively easy victory; 25-13, 25-16, 25-10. The No. 15 Nittany Lions (14-3, 6-0 Big Ten) have now won 12 straight matches including a win over No. 1 Minnesota earlier this week.
Tori Gorrell set the tone early for Penn State, tallying five kills and two blocks in the first set. The Nittany Lions as a team came out swinging, hitting at an impressive .375 clip while ripping 16 kills in the opening set.
The second set did not go as smoothly for the Nittany Lions, as they went back and forth with the Scarlet Knights for a large portion of the set. Five times the score was tied before Penn State finally pulled away late in the set by way of an 11-2 run. Gorrell added six more kills, finishing the evening with 11.
Penn State rode their momentum into a dominating third set victory, jumping out to a 6-0 lead and never looking back. Haleigh Washington and Simone Lee joined Gorrell in double-digit kills with 10 and 11, respectively. Laura Broerman finished the match on a service ace to cap a dominating night for the Lions.
“I thought [Broerman] served really well in the second and third game,” Penn State head coach Russ Rose said. “Then Nia [Reed] came in and looked like she was hungry to do some things and did a nice job.”
The Nittany Lions got a nice boost from a packed crowd at Rec Hall as well after the fans watched the Penn State football team beat Maryland earlier in the afternoon.
“The story of the night was a great crowd,” Rose said. “The players I know really appreciate getting a crowd like that in there.
“You can feel everybody with us too,” said defensive specialist Carley Muller. “Every single point, they’re invested in the game, they’re praying for us to win. That’s always nice.”
Penn State finished the match with 48 kills on 87 attempts and only 11 errors for a .425 hitting percentage. Abby Detering paced the Lions with 40 assists to back up the 61-assist effort she had against Minnesota on Wednesday.
In comparison, the Scarlet Knights registered only 19 kills on 85 attempts for a dismal .024 hitting percentage. Meme Fletcher led the way with nine kills but 17 errors plagued the girls in red. They tallied only four blocks, while Penn State was able to stuff 10 Rutgers attacks.
Penn State hits the road next weekend for matches at Purdue and Indiana in the hopes of staying undefeated in Big Ten play. They return home to face Ohio State on Oct. 19.
Tom Shively is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. You can contact him at email@example.com.