Penn State Finishes Iowa in Straight Sets

posted November 13, 2014 in Sports, CommRadio by Zach Rittle

The Penn State women’s volleyball team continued their dominance, defeating Iowa in straight sets Wednesday in front of a packed house at Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions have not dropped a set in their last eight matches.

Penn State (25-3, 13-3 B1G) came out of the gates sloppy. Iowa scored their first five points off of Nittany Lion miscues. Penn State defeated Iowa (13-13, 5-10 B1G) earlier this year in straight sets, but Penn State coach Russ Rose said his team did not prepare for Iowa any differently than any other team.

“I prepared for Iowa the same I have for the last 30 years. I respect every opponent so I don’t look at it as we haven’t lost to Iowa,” said Rose. “Everybody in the conference is capable of beating everybody in the conference. If you aren’t ready to play you are in for a tough match.”

After a close beginning to the first set, Penn State began to pull away. Iowa caught the miscue bug as Penn State took advantage of every Iowa error.

Blocking was the major key for both teams. Penn State recorded four blocks in the first set, as they were lead by Micha Hancock and Nia Grant. Both recorded a pair of blocks in the set, which led to a 25-14 opening set victory for the Nittany Lions.

The second set was a breeze for Penn State, as they never trailed. Coach Rose was not pleased with much from his team’s performance, but he was pleased with their second set.

“We hit over .500 and we controlled the ball. To control the ball it incorporates all phases of the game,” said Rose. He did however say his team needed to improve before their next game and that he hopes his team will work a lot harder tomorrow.

Penn State again started out the third set with sloppy play. Just like in the first set, Penn State used their tall frontline to create points off blocks. Penn State registered eight blocks on the night, while Iowa only registered two.

The third set was much more competitive than the first two. Iowa was this time able to capitalize off the Penn State errors. Iowa took a 16-15 lead, when Penn State flipped the switch and took control of the game.

An Iowa miscue allowed Grant to send a massive spike over the net to give Penn State the 22-18 advantage. Iowa would fight back, but Haleigh Washington recorded the final kill of the night to give Penn State the 25-21 victory. Even though Rose was not pleased with the way his team performed tonight, he was appreciative of the people who came to support the team.

“We didn’t play our best match, but we were able to have a good event, with a nice crowd, the band was doing their thing and we appreciate the support we do get,” said Rose.

Penn State hosts Minnesota at Rec Hall this Saturday, Novemeber 15th at 7p.m.

Zach Rittle is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email zar5038@psu.edu.