No. 13 Penn State Women’s Volleyball Sweeps Maryland In THON Match
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - No. 13 Penn State women’s volleyball (15-6, 8-3) handled Maryland (17-5, 5-5) in three sets (25-23, 25-10, 25-20) on Friday night to begin its four-game homestand with a sweep.
The Nittany Lions showed out for a packed Rec Hall for the team’s annual THON match and didn’t disappoint, bringing consistent energy and effort all night long.
“Especially on THON night, it’s great to be able to represent THON and the group, and being able to play for Penn State in general on any given night,” senior Jonni Parker said. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to play in Rec Hall and represent Penn State.”
Maryland opened things up firing, getting out to an early 4-0 lead in the first set. Although that was one of the only time’s all night that Penn State would feel threatened. The Nittany Lions pulled together and won it 25-23.
In the second set, Penn State got off to a quick 7-2 run and didn’t look back, winning 25-10. As for the third set, the Nittany Lions never lead by a comfortable margin, but were able to fend off multiple runs by the Terrapins and slam the door shut on any chance at a comeback.
It was a group win for Penn State and an all-around, efficient outing. The Nittany Lions hit .303 as a team, led by Jonni Parker on offense, who led the game with 13 kills while also adding five digs and three blocks.
Parker was one of five Nittany Lions to record at least seven kills in the match, followed by Anjelina Starck (9) Adanna Rollins (9), Kaitlyn Hord (8) and Allie Holland (7).
Additionally on offense, setter Gabby Blossom served up 37 assists to pace Penn State’s unit. Defensively, libero Jenna Hampton led the way with 13 digs, some of which she displayed some unbelievable athleticism.
Freshman Cassie Kuerschen also stepped in and played meaningful minutes for her team, tying for the team-high in service aces (2), and credits her teammates for leading the way.
“[My teammates] have literally helped me in every single aspect of the game, physically and mentally,” Kuerschen said. “My whole game has gotten better just because of the people who I’m around every day.”
The Nittany Lions’ chemistry and dedication to one another was evident as ever in this one.
“Our chemistry is great. These girls are all my best friends. So really, in the huddle, it’s about our confidence and about knowing that we know how to work hard and play hard, [and that starts with building each other up],” Blossom said.
The Nittany Lions return to action at Rec Hall on Saturday, October 30 to face Illinois in attempt to win their second straight. First serve is set for 4 p.m.
Zach Donaldson is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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