No. 1 Penn State volleyball downs No. 9 MSU

East Lansing, Mich. - The No. 1 Penn State women’s volleyball team took on No. 9 Michigan State in East Lansing in Big Ten action on Wednesday night, and the match did not disappoint as the two teams exchanged punches, with the Nittany Lions coming out with the decision, 3-1; 27-25, 25-19, 25-27, 25-21.

Defensively, Kendall White (Indianapolis, Ind.) was a rock for the Nittany Lions as the sophomore libero scooped up a season-high and a four-set personal-best 29 digs, including 19 over the final two sets. She also added six assists on the evening.

Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Co.) and Simone Lee (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) led the match with 18 points apiece. Washington hit .444 for the match and added three blocks and two digs. Lee finished with five digs and three solo blocks.

Ali Frantti (Spring Grove, Ill.) added 13 kills and added seven digs and three blocks. Heidi Thelen added seven kills and three blocks.

Abby Detering (Mentor, Ohio) put together a cohesive performance as the dual position player put down nine kills on .471 hitting, adding 27 assists, seven digs, and three blocks. Bryanna Weiskircher (Rockford, Ill.) added 34 assists and 11 digs for the double-double and added two kills.

Penn State finished the match with 71 kills on .342 hitting, adding 73 digs. Michigan State put down 58 kills on .237 hitting, with 65 digs.

The two teams traded leads to open the first set, but at 9-8, Michigan State took a lead that they would not relinquish until the waning moments of the set. The Nittany Lions were down 23-20, but that did not stop their drive. Through some gutsy choices and aggressive play, the Nittany Lions were able to tie it up at 23. Eventually going on to take the set, 27-25.

The Nittany Lion controlled the second set, putting down eight of their first 10 hitting attempts without an error. The finished the set with a .533 team hitting percentage and saw Frantti lead the way with five kills.

The third set featured high-quality Big Ten volleyball as the two Top-Ten teams battle tooth and nail, with long rally after long rally. White scooped up nine digs in the first set alone, while Lee put down seven kills, including three straight to push the set to extra points, but eventually, the Spartans were able to string together enough in a row to take the set, 27-25.

In the fourth set, Penn State bounced back in impressive fashion. The Nittany Lions opened up the set on a 6-1 run, and never looked back. They put down nine of their first 13 swings without an error. However, Michigan State would not disappoint their home crowd and tied the set at 14. A service run by senior Lainy Pierce put the Nittany Lions back on top. Washington put down seven kills and added two blocks to put away the Spartans.

The Nittany Lions will return home for a lone weekend match as they host Rutgers on Saturday, Nov. 4 for a 7 p.m. match. Saturday will also be Senior Day as the Nittany Lions will honor the eight seniors in Abby Detering, Ali Frantti, Jen Halterman, Simone Lee, Lainy Pierce, Clare Powers, Heidi Thelen, and Haleigh Washington, before the match.


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