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Penn State Women’s Volleyball Sweeps Washington to Reach NCAA Quarterfinals

by on December 07, 2018 8:52 PM

Penn State women’s volleyball swept Washington 3-0 (26-24, 25-21, 25-21) Friday afternoon at Stanford's Maples Pavilion to advance to the Elite Eight.

The No. 8 seed Nittany Lions will make their second straight appearance in the NCAA quarterfinals Saturday against the winner of Stanford and Washington State.

How It Happened

Penn State rallied back from a 24-23 deficit to take the first set as Tori Gorrell and Nia Reed each hammered home their fifth kills of the match. A Washington attack error on the ensuing point gave the Nittany Lions a 1-0 lead.

Penn State went on a 7-0 run early in the second set to seize momentum and eventually extend its lead heading into the intermission. Reed and Taylor Leath led the Nittany Lions offensively with 13 and 12 kills, respectively. Freshman right side Jonni Parker joined them in double digits and chipped in five digs.

After starting slow in the third set, Penn State stormed back to take the match on Reed’s final kill. Kendall White showed why she could easily repeat as an All-American this season with a match-high 16 digs, two assists, and two aces against the Huskies. Penn State hit .337 as a team in the victory.

Takeaways

  • Four Big Ten teams qualified for the NCAA quarterfinals, including Illinois, Wisconsin, and Nebraska, which will face Oregon following the Ducks’ huge 3-1 upset of Minnesota.
  • Senior setter Bryanna Weiskircher turned in an excellent performance with a match-high 40 assists, six digs, and three kills. Her steady demeanor has been essential to Penn State’s success this season and in the tournament.
  • Tori Gorrell continued to impress in her third straight start at middle blocker. She had eight kills, four blocks, two digs, two aces, and an assist in the win. 

Player of the Match

Taylor Leath | Outside hitter

Leath delivered when her team needed her in the third set. She had 12 kills (.478), five digs, two assists, an ace, and a block.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions (26-7) will face either the Cardinal or Cougars Saturday at 10 p.m. ET at Maples Pavilion with a trip to the Final Four on the line.

 



Ethan Kasales is a Lemont native and staff writer for Onward State.
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