Penn State Sweeps Michigan State on Silent Set Night
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A rather quiet start to a night of volleyball at Rec Hall saw No. 5 Penn State handily defeat Michigan State in three sets.
To raise awareness for those who suffer from hearing loss, the Rec Hall crowd remained silent until Penn State scored its ninth point of the contest, upon which the crowd erupted into its noisy and rambunctious norm. Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, it was the Spartans who reached nine first in what proved to be an uncharacteristically sloppy night of volleyball for the Nittany Lions.
Early on in the first set, Michigan State climbed out to an early lead, taking advantage of a nearly nonexistent Penn State defense. With the front row barely getting blocks up in time to slow down Michigan State’s attack and numerous service errors handing Michigan State free points, the Spartans appeared to come out of Set 1 victorious. However, some big-time plays from Jonni Parker coupled with late Michigan State errors let Penn State win by a score of 26-24, with Katilyn Hord and Allyson Cathey combing for a monster block at the net to ice it.
Going into the second set, Penn State did not play like a motivated team, despite winning the first set in clutch manner. Still, Jonni Parker made some key plays down the stretch, even with service errors and sloppy passing by Penn State giving the Spartans opportunities to score. Once scoring had reached the 20s, Penn State was able to capitalize on Michigan State service errors, closing out the second set strong and winning, 25-21.
Penn State jumped out to an early lead in the third set and was able to keep ahead of Michigan State by at least two points, but late into the set, Penn State began to take its foot off the gas, giving Michigan State some life. Once again, Jonni Parker proved to be the driving force behind Penn State, coming through with masterful attacking at the net. Penn State would take the third set, 25-18.
Penn State head coach Russ Rose was not impressed with the team despite the sweep. Rose was “disappointed with all the players” on his team, appearing warm toward only Parker.
Penn State moves to 8-2 on the season and will take on Rutgers at Rec Hall, looking to push its win streak to two and find a spark to end a run of sloppy play.
David Saggio is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.