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WVB Falls in NCAA Semifinal to Nebraska

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Dec. 15, 2017

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Penn State women’s volleyball team fell in a battle of the best on Thursday evening as the Nittany Lions were ousted, 25-18, 23-25, 24-26, 28-26, 15-11, by Big Ten foe Nebraska in the NCAA Semifinal Match in the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Senior outside hitter Simone Lee (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) finished with her 11th double-double of the season, and the 15th of her career as she put down 18 kills and added 15 digs. She also added two aces and a block.

Senior middle blocker Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Co.) tacked on 13 kills and six blocks, while fellow middle blocker sophomore Tori Gorrell added six kills, .500 hitting and four blocks.

Seniors Ali Frantti (Spring Grove, Ill.) and Heidi Thelen (Edgewood, Ky.) both added nine kills on the evening. Thelen tallied a personal best for NCAA tournament play with seven blocks. Frantti added 10 digs and two blocks on the evening.

Bryanna Weiskircher (Rockford, Ill.) dished out a team-high 25 assists while scooping up a career-best 18 digs. Fellow setter Abby Detering (Mentor, Ohio) added 24 assists, seven digs, five kills, and two blocks.

Libero Kendall White (Indianapolis, Ind.) tacked on 16 digs and an ace.

In the opening set, Penn State saw Simone Lee put down six kills, but Penn State was only able to side-out at 50-percent and hit .182 with just 11 kills. Nebraska put down 14 kills on .407 hitting, led by middle blocker Briana Holman, who had five kills on six attempts without an error. Nebraska used the advantages to take the opener, 25-18.

Haleigh Washington came alive in the second set, putting down seven kills on eight swings. She also added her first block of the match. Penn State put down 17 kills, hitting .262 while Nebraska hit just .189 and only put down 11 kills. The Nittany Lions also dished out two aces, one from Bryanna Weiskircher and one from Lee. Penn State evened the match at 1-1 with a 25-23 victory.

Out of the break, the Nittany Lions led early but the Huskers climbed back and held a 22-18 advantage late. Penn State showed its heart and was able to climb back and take the set, 26-24, with a .122 hitting percentage from the Huskers. Tori Gorrell had a huge set with three kills on three swings.

In the fourth set, Penn State jumped out to an early lead, but Nebraska clawed back. The Huskers put down 21 kills, but Penn State tallied five blocks in the set, forcing a deuce game. The two teams battled through extra points, but Nebraska took the fourth, forcing a final deciding set, with a 28-26 win.

In the fifth and deciding set, Penn State saw Abby Detering lead the way with two kills on two swings, but ultimately, Nebraska’s efficiency proved more effective. The Huskers put down six kills without an error for a .545 clip, and a 15-11 win.

Penn State finished the season with a 33-2 record, six American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America honorees, a Big Ten Championship, and eight Penn State graduates.





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