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No. 1 WVB Blocks Pitt, Set to Host NCAA Regional

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Dec. 2, 2017

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Rec Hall| University Park, Pa. | 3413


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Penn State 3, Pittsburgh 1 Get Acrobat Reader



UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The No. 1 Penn State women’s volleyball team took down the University of Pittsburgh in a Keystone state rivalry match, 3-1; 25-20, 23-25, 25-22, 25-19, in the Second Round of the 2017 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship on Saturday evening in Rec Hall.

With the win, Penn State advances to their 15th straight Regional, but for the first time since 2010, Penn State will host the Regional at Rec Hall. Penn State has hosted a Regional in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2010.

While it was an extremely aggressive match offensively, defense proved to be the difference maker in the match as Penn State out-blocked Pitt, 17.0-5.0.

Penn State finished the match hitting .312 on the evening, while Pitt hit .240, including a .057 fourth set outing that sealed the match for the Nittany Lions.

The matched opened with both teams hitting lights out as Penn State put down 21 kills in the opener on a .415 clip, and Pitt put down 14 kills, hitting .324. Penn State took the opener, 25-20.

The aggressive trend continued into the second set as both teams put down 16 kills with Pitt hitting .306, and Penn State hit .300. However, the Nittany Lions made four service errors in the second set, and Pitt evened the match up at 1-1 with a 25-23 win.

Out of the break, Penn State looked to its block to get rolling. Through the first two sets, the Nittany Lions combined for just 3.0 team blocks, but in the third set, Penn State tallied 5.0 blocks and helped hold Pitt to a .268 hitting percentage. Offensively, Penn State hit .342 and put down 17 kills, including five from each Simone Lee (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) and Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Co.).

In the final set, the Penn State block proved its dominance as the team combined for 9.0 in the fourth set alone. Tori Gorrell (Oakville, Ontario) tallied five stuffs, while Abby Detering (Mentor, Ohio). The defense helped stifled the Pitt offense to just .057 and 11 kills in the last set.

On the evening, Lee led all attackers with 19 kills, adding four blocks, two solo, and four digs. Fellow outside Ali Frantti (Spring Grove, Ill.) added 14 kills, eight digs and five blocks, including one solo. Opposite Heidi Thelen (Edgewood, Ky.) added seven kills, three blocks, and two digs.

Out of the middle, Washington put down 16 kills on a .483 hitting percentage and added seven blocks and three digs. 16 kills marks a new NCAA Tournament high for the middle blocker. Gorrell, Washington’s fellow middle, added six kills and a new NCAA high mark of seven blocks.

Detering put together an all-around complete performance as the setter-hitter dished out a team-best 31 assists, adding 14 digs for the double-double. She also put down six kills and tallied five blocks. Her counterpart in the 6-2, Bryanna Weiskircher (Rockford, Ill.) dished out 28 assists, adding six digs and two service aces.

Sophomore libero Kendall White (Indianapolis, Ind.) added 15 digs and four assists to Penn State’s stat line.

The Nittany Lions will play the University of Missouri on Friday, Dec. 8 in Rec Hall. The time of the match is to be determined. Michigan State will also be at the University Park Regional and will play the winner of the Illinois/Washington match which will conclude late Saturday evening.  




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