Penn State women’s volleyball swept by Wisconsin, drops second straight Big Ten match
No. 12 Penn State fell to No. 8 Wisconsin on the road. This is the Nittany Lions second straight loss after an undefeated 12-0 start to the season.
After a tough loss to Michigan last week, Penn State would try to set the tone early against Wisconsin. However, it was Wisconsin that came out swinging, winning the first set 25-20.
The following set was a dominating 25-16 win for the Badgers as they had control of the tempo in this set. Penn State could not get out of its own way, making mistakes that would cause it to go down 0-2 to Wisconsin early in the match.
Penn State kept it close in the third set after being down 5-2 early on. The Nittany Lions took it down to the wire with the score being tied 29-29. However, Penn State's offense couldn’t get anything going and Wisconsin scored two straight to win the set 31-29.
With the 31-29 win in the third set, the Badgers swept the Nittany Lions 3-0.
Statistically, Penn State won this match, except for the fact that it gave up 25 errors, an average of eight-to-nine turnovers a set. The Nittany Lions need to clean up their game if they want to continue to stay in competitive games.
Wisconsin dominated the first two sets of this match and didn’t look back. The Badgers played a clean game all around led by Devyn Robinson and Sarah Franklin who both lead the team in total attempts, points and kills.
Wisconsin’s Izzy Ashburn helped lead the Badgers to a commanding lead with her 5 aces throughout the match. Danielle Hart and Robinson would put up a brick wall against Penn State with their combined 12 blocks throughout the match.
Despite all the errors and miscommunication on the Penn State side, Seleisa Elisaia helped the Nittany Lions score with her team leading 33 assists and 10 digs. Elisai's assists would help set up Kashauna Williams to lead the team with 17 kills and 19 points.
Penn State had a lot more total attempts at scoring than Wisconsin did, but the Badgers defense was either always there to defend it or the Nittany Lions just couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity. Penn State would finish with 118 total attempts and only a .136 hitting percentage compared to Wisconsin's 108 total attempts and .238 hitting percentage.
Penn State falls to 12-2 on the season, with a 1-2 record in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions will look to end this losing streak as they return home to play a 9-4 Michigan State team on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Micheal Bolger is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email email@example.com.