WVB: PSU Remains Unbeaten Against Iowa, Snapping Four-Game Skid
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- Coming off a tough loss to Nebraska, Russ Rose’s Nittany Lions redeemed themselves to snap a four-game losing streak and go 1-1 on the weekend. Penn State knocked off Iowa in three sets 25-11, 25-16, and 25-17 to make their unblemished record against the Hawkeyes 50-0.
“It was nice to change the direction of our last four matches because the players were disappointed in their effort and the results,” Rose said. “If you want to be somebody, you have to beat somebody.”
The first set opened with a 5-0 run with junior Alli Frantti behind the service line. Juniors Simone Lee and Haleigh Washington each put up two early blocks, showing off their defensive power at the net.
“We did a great job of blocking early and blocking throughout the match,” Rose said.
Attacking errors plagued the Hawkeyes offense throughout the set and Penn State was able to lead by as many as 14 points. They took the first set 25-11, off of 15 total attacking errors made by the Iowa offense.
Penn State was able to generate an offense in the second set with Frantti, Washington and Lee. The trio combined for nine kills despite the lack opportunity put the ball down the line or in the backcourt.
During the match against Nebraska last night, Rose made a setter change from junior Abby Detering to redshirt sophomore Bryanna Weiskircher. Weiskircher got the start today and proved to be a steady offensive threat as well with 15 assists in the second set. She also tallied five blocks on the afternoon.
The Nittany Lions took the second set 25-16.
“I thought she came in last night and did some nice things and she also played well today” Rose said. “We’ll practice, we’ll work on some things. But that’s one of the positions that isn’t playing at the level that it should be.”
Iowa gained momentum to open up the third set, leading by as many as three points. With the score 6-3, a replay of the tenth point of the set was called by referees. An Iowa service error made the score 6-4 and Penn State quickly went on a 4-0 run.
Washington put up four kills in the set, continuing to show why she is on track for a season that ranks among the best during the 25-point rally scoring era.
“We played together as a team a lot better than the other four matches,” junior Heidi Thelen said. “We did a good job of reading the game and the mentality of the game was different.”
Thelen provided a spark for the Nittany Lions off the bench tallying four kills and two blocks.
The Nittany Lions are set to the road next weekend for both of their matches against Maryland and Ohio State.
Tia Pattillo is a junior majoring in psychology neuroscience. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.