Penn State Women’s Volleyball Closes Out Penn State Classic With 3-0 Sweep of LSU
Penn State women’s volleyball finishes the Penn State Classic with a 3-0 record, capping off its sweep with a 3-0 win over the LSU Tigers.
Penn State defeated LSU 25-13 in the first set, 25-21 in the second set and 25-21 again in the third set. Leading the charge for the Nittany Lions was the Maryland transfer Erika Pritchard with 14 kills, followed by senior outside hitter Jonni Parker with nine of her own.
After going 2-1 in Orlando, the Nittany Lions found a way to sweep all three of their opponents in Rec Hall over the span of two days. Head coach Russ Rose was satisfied with the team’s performance this weekend.
“I thought it was a good weekend at home,” Rose said. “We’re playing better than we played last week and that’s always the goal of a long season.”
Even with LSU’s valiant efforts to climb back into sets, the Penn State defense held strong. At multiple occasions, the Tigers sprung out to tie the set, only to give up a point moments later.
Penn State distributed the wealth as four Nittany Lions recorded over five kills. Other factors came on the defensive system with middle blocker Kaitlyn Hord leading the team with seven blocks.
Pritchard led the offensive attack for the Nittany Lions tonight, as she gives credit to her teammates for rallying behind her and pushing her to her limits. “They just work hard every day, and it’s kind of like iron sharpens iron in the gym,” Pritchard said.
Penn State previously played a match earlier today against the Oregon State Beavers, to which they won in straight sets. Rose believed the depth provided a boost in getting through the two-match day.
“It’s tough to play two matches. I think different people stepped up in both the matches today,” Rose said.
Sophomore middle blocker Allie Holland was one of those players stepping up for the Nittany Lions. Holland ended the match with four kills on .333 hit percentage and five blocks, with four of them coming in the first set.
The rest of the team chipped in blocks as well, ending the match with 12 blocks compared to LSU’s six. However, the Tigers utilized Kylie Deberg to their advantage as she ended the night with 15 kills.
“Deberg is a terrific talent,” Rose said. “She’s had a pretty full array of playing experiences and we had a tough time with her.”
Even with Deberg’s night, the Tigers failed to limit their mistakes. LSU found themselves committing more errors in the match than Penn State, with 19 attack errors to the Nittany Lion’s 10 and eight service errors to Penn State’s three.
After the Penn State Classic, Rose is positive about the film from the weekend as it can aid in pointing out the Nittany Lions’ flaws. “That’ll maybe give us some inside intellect into what we need to do when we go next week and play Oregon and Stanford,” Rose said.
The Nittany Lions move to 5-1 on the year after winning their last four matches. Next, the team heads out west for the Big Ten-Pac 12 Challenge as they face the No. 13 Oregon Ducks and No. 20 Stanford Cardinals.
Jonathan Draeger is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.