Penn State Downs Rutgers at Rec
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State took care of business on Saturday night against Rutgers, beating the Scarlet Knights 3-0 at Rec Hall.
The 1999 National Championship team was on hand as well and they were honored on the floor in between sets in front of an energetic crowd.
“I thought it was a great crowd and good energy,” head coach Russ Rose said. “It was a great opportunity to recognize the players from the 1999 championship team.”
The Nittany Lions won the first and third sets handily, with victories of 25-14 and 25-15 respectively. The middle set was a bit more tightly contested, with Penn State winning it 25-20.
Slow starts were the overarching theme for Penn State on the evening, taking a while to pull away from Rutgers throughout the match.
“It can be tough in the beginning of games,” Serena Gray said on the slow starts. “And I think tonight was pretty hard.”
Penn State was fortunate that the slow starts didn’t hurt them too much; but aside from that, the Nittany Lions were able to establish their dominance and keep the match drama free for the most part.
In terms of hitting percentage, Penn State dominated on that front. The Nittany Lions hit .315 on the night, while Rutgers hit .091. That was a huge factor in Penn State’s success in the match, as well as a more-clean game then the Nittany Lions played last time out.
“We served better tonight then we did a couple of nights ago,” Rose said. “We controlled the ball a little bit better and we’ll have to continue to get a lot better as we progress into conference play.”
Jonni Parker led the way for Penn State with 12 kills, while Kaitlyn Hord and Allyson Cathey teamed up for seven blocks on the front line. For Cathey, blocking is something she wants to add to her game.
“Coach has been on me about that and that is something I have been working on in practice,” Cathey said.
Penn State will hit the road on Wednesday night for their first conference road matchup of the season. They will take on Wisconsin and that match is set to start at 9 p.m.
Jake Starr is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.