No. 1 PSU Volleyball grabs piece of B1G Title
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. – The No. 1 Penn State women’s volleyball team moved to 29-1, and 19-1, and earned a share of the Big Ten title on Saturday evening when the Nittany Lions took down No. 8 Minnesota, 3-1; 29-27, 25-20, 24-26, 25-20, in a battle of a match in Maturi Pavilion.
The Nittany Lions claimed their 17th Big Ten title and their first since 2013.
Senior Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Co.) had a career-night as the middle blocker put down a new personal-best with 21 kills on a .514 clip. She added seven blocks, five digs, an ace, and an assist.
Fellow senior Simone Lee (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) put down 20 kills, adding eight digs and five blocks. Of Lee’s 20 kills, 10 came in the final set to help Penn State secure the victory.
Redshirt sophomore middle blocker Tori Gorrell (Oakville, Ontario) had an extremely effective night as she put down nine kills on 14 attempts for a .643 hitting percentage. She also added a career-best nine blocks to help stifle the Gopher offense.
Ali Frantti (Spring Grove, Ill.) led the match with 17 digs, which tied a career-high. She also added six kills and four blocks to her stat line.
Abby Detering (Mentor, Ohio) dished out 29 assists, adding four kills, six digs, and three blocks, while Bryanna Weiskircher (Rockford, Ill.) recorded a double-double with 30 assists and 13 digs while adding two aces.
Kendall White (Indianapolis, Ind.) added 13 digs.
The opening set was a perfect precursor to highlight a top-ten battle as the Gophers and Nittany Lions fought tooth and nail. Minnesota lead through most of the match, but as the set came to the closing moments, Penn State scrapped away the hosts’ lead and used 7.0 team blocks, 10 digs from Ali Frantti, and endless hustle plays to take the opener, 29-27.
The second half saw Penn State take an early lead, and maintain throughout. Haleigh Washington put down five kills in the second set, and Tori Gorrell added four kills and two blocks. Penn State hit an improved .378 in the second set, compared to a .113 first set.
The third set mirrored the first, with Penn State falling behind early but mounting a comeback. However, in the third, it went in the favor of Minnesota, 26-24. The Gophers hit .325 in the set, while Penn State hit just .289.
The final set saw the Nittany Lions hit .364 with 19 kills, Haleigh Washington put down seven kills in the final set to go record a new career-high. Simone Lee added 10 kills in the final set and helped the Nittany Lions to a Big Ten title.
NCAA SELECTION SHOW
The full NCAA seedings will be announced at the end of the regular season on Sunday, Nov. 26. The announcement will be televised live on ESPNU, 9 p.m., ET. Like last year, the NCAA will announce its field of 64 teams, with the top four having a chance to host the NCAA Regionals. Following the NCAA First and Second Rounds, NCAA regions will be hosted at the remaining highest seed in each region. Winners of each region advance to the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship in Kansas City.
VOTE, VOTE, VOTE
Haleigh Washington and Simone Lee were both named as Senior CLASS Award finalists. There are only ten finalists in the Women’s Volleyball category, and fans’ votes will be credited towards 1/3 of the winner’s selection. Since the award’s inauguration in 2010, Penn State has only had two finalists up to this point. Ariel Scott won in 2013, and Arielle Wilson was a First Team honoree in 2010. It is a Nittany Lion first with two in the final ten. VOTE
CYBER MONDAY DEALS
On Monday, Nov. 27, Penn State Athletics will be having a Cyber Monday sale on 2018 women’s volleyball season tickets. 2018 Season Tickets will be on sale for 50-percent off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The ticket window will only be active during the four-hour window. Use the promotion code: DEALS