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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The No. 1 Penn State Nittany Lions will face No. 9 Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich., at 7 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network on Wednesday, Nov. 1.
This marks the second meeting between the two squads, with Penn State taking the first outing 3-1; 25-17, 15-25, 30-28, 25-18, in Rec Hall on Oct. 13.
Simone Lee led the Nittany Lions with 17 kills against Michigan State, adding a then-career-high 13 digs for her fifth double-double of the year. She also dished out two aces.
Haleigh Washington finished the match with 14 kills while hitting .433 in the game. She added four blocks and two digs as well.
SCOUTING THE SPARTANS
Michigan State is currently 16-5 on the season and is 9-3 in B1G action. Following the first match between the Nittany Lions and the Spartans, where PSU won, 3-1, the Spartans went on a three-match winning streak, before falling to Nebraska, 3-1, on Oct. 27. MSU rebounded with a 3-1 win over Iowa on Oct. 28. Michigan State honored seniors Rachel Minarick (4,000 career assists) and Alyssa Garvelink (500 career blocks) for their career milestones before their match versus Iowa. The Spartans have three players with 3.00-plus kills per set averages, led by Autumn Bailey who is at 3.23. Brooke Kranda follows with 3.19 per set, while Holly Toliver adds 3.03. Garvelink ads 2.54 with a team-high .371 hitting percentage, and 1.44 blocks per set average.
LAST TIME OUT
No. 1 Penn State women’s volleyball team moved to 21-1 and 11-1 in Big Ten play as they took down Illinois on the road, 3-0; 30-28, 25-11, 25-15.
Three Nittany Lions recorded double-figure kills led by Simone Lee (Menomonee Falls, Wis). Lee finished with a game-high 16 kills on .406 hitting. Heidi Thelen (Edgewood, Ky.) and Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Co.) both added ten kills. Thelen put down her ten on a clip of .444, while Washington hit .769 with no errors.
Washington also dominated on the block, recording seven stops, including a solo stuff.
Kendall White (Indianapolis, Ind.) led the match with 13 digs and added five assists.
Penn State finished the match with a .479 hitting percentage with 52 kills, and 12.0 team blocks. They held Illinois to .176 hitting and avoided the ninth-best blocking team in the nation as the Illini only recorded 5.5 team blocks, 4.5 of which came in the opening set.
>> Haleigh Washington was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 30 for her team-best 4.64 points per set matches, with 3.43 kills per set on a .548 hitting percentage adding 2.14 blocks per set. This was her 9th career weekly honor, surpassing Megan Hodge and Nicole Fawcett, who both had eight, for the program record. She also moved to 2nd by herself in the Big Ten records, trailing Stacey Gordon (OSU, 2001-04) who finished with 16.
>> Kendall White picked up her 2nd Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honor for averaging 4.89 digs per set in wins over #9 Wisconsin and Illinois.
>>Haleigh Washington became the 7th athlete in Penn State volleyball lore to reach 1,000 kills and 500 blocks on Oct. 25. She was the first in seven seasons to reach 500 blocks, as the last to achieve this feat was Arielle Wilson (2007-10). Washington is also currently the only active Big Ten player to reach this mark.
>> Penn State has three active 1,000 kill club members as Ali Frantti was the first on Aug. 26 at West Virginia, and Simone Lee followed on Oct. 6 at Ohio State, and Haleigh Washington eclipsed the mark on Oct. 21 at Indiana.
>> The last time Penn State had three active 1,000 kill club members was in 2008. Entering the season, Megan Hodge and Nicole Fawcett were already past the mark, but on Sept. 5, 2008, Christa Harmotto joined the club as well.
>> This marked the first time in Penn State history that a trio reached the pinnacle in the same season.
>>Currently, Penn State is one of two programs in all of DI volleyball to have three active 1,000 kill hitters. NC State has Kaitlyn Kearney (994) to join Julia Brown (1,176) and Bree Bailey (1,119).
>> The marks the 69th week the Nittany Lions have been at No. 1 in the poll since the end of the 2006 season, and the 93rd time in the history of the poll. The Nittany Lions’ first No. 1 Ranking came on Sept. 2, 1997, and the poll was started in 1982.
>> Penn State also remained No. 1 in the RPI that was released on Monday, Oct. 30.
>> Nia Reed was the 6th Nittany Lion to put down double-figure kills with her career-best 11 against Wisconsin on Oct. 25.
>>Twice this season, the Nittany Lions have had four players with double-digit kills. Against Stanford (9/1): Abby Detering (11k), Ali Frantti (10k), Haleigh Washington (10k), and Simone Lee (11k), and against Purdue (10/20): Ali Frantti (15k), Heidi Thelen (14k), Simone Lee (13k), and Haleigh Washington (10k).
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.