No. 9 Penn State dominates Maryland in return to Rec Hall
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State (12-3, 3-2 Big Ten) cruised to a three-set victory over Maryland (11-6, 2-3 Big Ten) in its return home after spending a month on the road.
Jonni Parker led the way for the Nittany Lions, racking up 11 kills and a .524 hitting percentage in the straight set victory. Penn State’s substitutes shined with Allyson Cathey hitting .300 with five kills and Tori Gorrell hitting .667 off the bench.
Penn State head coach Russ Rose was pleased with the performance off the bench.
“I thought Tori came and did a nice job,” Rose said. “I thought the best ball hit tonight was one of the balls that she hit.”
Maryland’s Erika Pritchard entered the match with 238 kills on the season. Penn State was stout defensively, holding Pritchard to just four kills and a .000 hitting percentage.
Penn State’s last home match was on September 1 against Texas A&M. The Nittany Lions opened Big Ten play with four straight road contests.
Taylor Leath said it was hard, but it was nice to be home.
“Being in a different gym kind of every single night. Not having the time to you know, like practice as much as we would or get all the extra reps that we would,” Leath said. “Honestly, being home, I think the energy is great. There’s no place like home.”
Maryland played defense much of the night. Freshman libero Allegra Rivas led all players with 13 digs. Penn State’s power forced her to have a busy night, but her strong performance still wasn’t enough for Maryland.
Mistakes plagued the Terrapins all match. Maryland hit .030, with 21 attack errors and just 24 kills. On top of that, Maryland was called for going out of rotation twice during the match.
Penn State’s attack wasn’t much better. The Nittany Lions hit .250 in the match and Rose was not happy about it.
“I thought we made an awful lot of hitting errors that weren’t very good and it resulted in us hitting .250,” Rose said.
Preventable mistakes by Maryland gave Penn State momentum and the Nittany Lions carried that through the entire match.
In front of 2,917 fans, Penn State dominated from the opening serve. The power from Parker and Leath was too much for Maryland to handle.
Maryland will look to get back on track when it travels to Rutgers on Saturday to wrap up its road trip.
Penn State hosts Ohio State in Rec Hall on Saturday at 7 p.m.
It was a convincing 3-0 victory for the Nittany Lions in their return home after a month away from Rec Hall. They’ll look to build off their performance Friday night and carry it into Saturday when they host the Buckeyes.
Josh Starr is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.