Penn State women’s volleyball sweeps UConn on opening night
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – After a long offseason, a new look Penn State squad finally returned home to Rec Hall for its season opener.
The Nittany Lions opened their season with a bang sweeping the University of Connecticut in the first game of the Penn State Classic.
The contest also marked a new era for the blue and white as Katie Schumacher-Cawley made her coaching debut, taking over for the legendary Russ Rose, who retired in the offseason.
Schumacher-Cawley is the third coach in program history, and during her playing days, was a two-time All-American, helped lead her team to a National Championship and won four consecutive Big Ten crowns.
Coming off of a strong 2021 season, the Nittany Lions lost some essential players, but they welcomed the addition of two transfers into the starting lineup.
Although Penn State has one of the best offensive attacks in the nation, it was facing a defensive stalwart in Kennadie Jake-Turner.
Last season Jake-Turner was An All-Big East selection as she tallied a team-high of 135 blocks.
Despite falling in straight sets, the Huskies played well on defense, tallying 27 digs and eight blocks, with Jake-Turner accounting for three of those blocks herself. It was also a big day for Karly Berkland, earning herself eight of the 27 team digs as the libero.
On the final lap of her victory tour, the Huskies welcome back senior Caylee Parker. Parker was also an All-Big East selection a year ago. Despite her exceptional performance on offense in the loss, Parker accounted for 11 of those 27 digs on her own as an outside hitter.
This seemingly unbreakable defense was no match for Penn State's own Allie Holland, who earned herself 10 kills on the day. Working alongside her was Anastasiya Kudryashova, who tallied eight kills.
Despite the exceptional effort all around the court, the real star of the game was Zoe Weatherington, who played her first game as a Nittany Lion after coming in as a transfer student from Utah. Weatherington accounted for eight kills on the day, three of which were set-ending kills.
“I think that Zoe is obviously producing a lot from us offensively, she also is a really good leader and you always hear her on the court,’ Maddy Bilinovic said. “She’s really good at talking individually and pulling players to the side to make sure we're all on the same page, which is all we could ask for.”
Friday night's victory was a great start to the year for Penn State, and it was even better for Schumacher-Cawley, who recorded her first victory behind the bench.
Molly White is a third-year majoring in kinesiology. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Second Year / Kinesiology - Movement Science
Molly White is a second year student studying Kinesiology with a concentration in Movement Science at Penn State University Park. She is from South Kingstown, Rhode Island, and is looking to pursue a career in sports, currently exploring other interests in the field outside of her current major, looking to gain a more broad experience and gain more knowledge.