Rutgers, Penn State, volleyball
(Photo by Christopher Shannon - JSN)

No. 15 Penn State Tops Rutgers Volleyball

Piscataway – The 15th-ranked Penn State women’s volleyball team topped Rutgers in three sets (25-18, 25-15, 26-24) at Jersey Mike’s Arena.

The Scarlet Knights kept pace with the Nittany Lions early in set one, staying within two points for the vast majority of the early going.  However, a series of Rutgers attack errors, and Penn State block, would ignite an 8-4 Nittany Lion run that would allow Penn State to take at six-point lead at 16-10.  The Knights attempted to mount a comeback but would get no closer than three for the rest of the set at 16-13, before Penn State used a 9-5 run to close out the set.

Set two started out well for the Scarlet Knights as they held an early 3-2 lead and were able to remain close to the Nittany Lions until roughly midway through the set when Penn State held a 15-13 lead.  After that, though, the Lions would take control.  Triggered by a kill by Katie Clark, the Nittany Lions went on a 10-3 run to finish out the set.

Set three saw the Scarlet Knights’ best opportunity to take a set from Penn State.  After continuously trading points, Rutgers and Penn State found themselves tied at 11.  At that point, the Scarlet Knights, sparked by back-to-back kills from Taylor Humphrey, would go on a 10-5 run to take a 21-16 lead.  However, a kill from Penn State’s Katie Clark, and back-to-back Nittany Lion blocks, would change the Scarlett Knights’ fortunes and lead to an 8-2 Penn State run and a 24-23 lead for the Lions.  A Penn State service error would tie the set at 24, but a Nittany Lion block and service ace would end the set, and match, in favor of the visitors from central Pennsylvania.

Statistically, Rutgers was led by Taylor Humphrey’s 11 kills and eight digs, Lauren DeLo’s 17 assists, and Megan Vernon’s six blocks.  As a team, the Scarlet Knight hit .146 compared to Penn State’s .348 and committed 18 errors compared to the Lions’ 14.  Penn State also held a slight 9-8 team blocking advantage.

Rutgers hits the road for its next two matches, visiting Wisconsin on Friday and Iowa on Sunday.

Christopher Shannon