Penn State Women’s Volleyball Sweeps Iowa, Wins Ninth Straight
The Nittany Lions (19-2, 10-1) swept their third straight Big Ten opponent, and won their ninth straight game Saturday night, as they defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes (10-13, 1-10) in straight sets (25-8, 25-8, 25-11).
Iowa has struggled throughout the season in conference play coming into Saturday, with a record of 1-4 in their past five games. That struggle continued early as Penn State jumped to a 8-0 run, which included two service aces by junior Micha Hancock, following Iowa scoring the first point of the game, on a kill by Erin Radke.
Iowa would stop the run and score their second point of the game, but the Nittany Lions remained hot, going on a 9-3 run to jump to a commanding 17-4 lead. That run featured two kills by senior Ariel Scott as well as three combined attack errors by the Hawkeyes. The Nittany Lions would go on to win set one, 25-8.
Penn State carried their momentum into the second set, jumping out to an early 12-4 lead. Senior Deja McClendon led the scoring early with two kills and a service ace in that run. Iowa head coach Sharon Dingman called a timeout following this run, but that didn’t slow Penn State’s scoring. Following the timeout, Penn State closed the set with a 13-4 run, matching the score from the first set, 25-8.
Penn State and Iowa traded scoring back and forth to begin set three. No more than two points separated both teams, until Penn State scored six unanswered to gain an 11-4 lead.
Iowa displayed more offense in the third set, eclipsing the 8-point mark, but stayed in the rearview mirror, compared to the Nittany Lions. Penn State freshman, Kelly Robertson, recorded her first career kill and a second one on back-to-back rallies. Penn State would then seal the victory on Robertson’s third kill later in the set for a final set score of 25-11.
Ariel Scott was the leading scoring for the Nittany Lions with 11 kills on the evening and head coach Russ Rose notched career win number 1,109. He is now 10 wins shy of Hawaii head coach Dave Shoji’s record for the most wins all time.
Rose will get the opportunity to get one win closer to that number as the Nittany Lions will travel to Ann Arbor, to take on the Wolverines of Michigan (14,6 5-4) on Nov. 1.