Penn State Women¡¯s Volleyball Drops Match to Michigan, 3-2
Ann Arbor, Mich., Nov. 2, 2002 -- The Penn State women¡¯s volleyball team dropped its second match of the weekend, falling to Michigan in five games (29-31, 30-28, 20-30, 30-15, 10-15) Saturday night in Ann Arbor, Mich. Penn State falls to 18-5 overall, 8-4 in Big Ten action while Michigan improves to 14-8, 8-4 in conference play. Penn State is 1-4 in five-game matches this season.
Senior Mishka Levy (Houston, Texas) and sophomore Ashley Pederson (Sioux Falls, S.D.) both recorded 16 kills to lead the Lions while junior middle hitter Cara Smith (Lafayette, Ind.) posted 13 kills and three of Penn State¡¯s eight service aces. As a team, Penn State hit .200 compared to .228 by the Wolverines.
Sophomore Syndie Nadeau (St. Georges, Quebec) tallied a career-high 17 digs while freshman libero Kaleena Walters (Mt. Lebanon, Pa.) provided 13 digs. Freshman setter Sam Tortorello (Shorewood, Ill.) completed the second double-double of her career with 56 assists and 12 digs.
Junior Robyn Guokas (Burr Ridge, Ill.), the Big Ten¡¯s leading blocker, tallied a match-high nine blocks while Levy added five and Pederson four. Penn State outblocked Michigan 14.5 to 9.5.
For Michigan, sophomore outside hitter Jennifer Gandolph tallied 22 kills while four other Wolverines posted double-digit kill figures. Junior middle hitter Erin Moore posted a match-high 18 digs while setter Lisa Gamalski recorded 17 digs along with 64 assists. Senior Katrina Lehman led the blocking front with five.
The fifth game started off on the right foot for Penn State with a block by Guokas and Nadeau but Michigan answered with a kill and a block of its own. A Wolverine attack error knotted the score at 2-2 but was closely followed by a Nittany Lion service error. Nadeau and Guokas once again produced a block to tie the game at 3-3, but two Michigan kills and an ace gave it the 6-3 lead. Smith tallied a kill to pull Penn State to within two but Michigan took the 8-4 advantage at the side change. Pederson answered with a kill but the Lions committed an attack error to give Michigan the 10-5 advantage. The teams traded kills and Penn State pulled to within three at 11-8 on a kill from Pederson. A Michigan blocked halted Penn State¡¯s momentum and Michigan took the fifth set 15-10 with a kill. Pederson, Nadeau and Levy all recorded two kills for the Lions. Penn State hit .125 in the game, compared to .286 by Michigan.
Penn State fell behind 4-1 in the first game before rattling off five straight points to take the 6-4 lead. Two Michigan attacking errors gave the Lions the two point lead at 14-12 but the Wolverines responded with two kills to knot the score. Three Penn State kills forced Michigan to call a timeout, down 18-16. The Wolverines fought back to take the 24-23 lead and force a Penn State timeout. Levy responded with a kill to tie the game at 24-24. The teams four times traded points, with a Michigan service error tying the game at 29-29. Two straight Wolverine kills ended the stanza at 31-29 in the host¡¯s favor. Both Smith and Pederson tallied four kills while Nadeau and Walters posted four digs.
The Lions fell behind 8-3 in the second set before rallying to tie the game at 15-15, aided by two consecutive blocks, one by Smith and Tortorello and the other by Smith and Pederson. Five ties ensued before Penn State took the 21-20 lead on a Smith kill. An ace by sophomore Tabitha Eshleman (Greencastle, Pa.) and a Michigan attack error forced a Wolverine timeout at 23-20. The hosts rallied to tie the game at 27-27 before a kill from Guokas and a block by Guokas and Levy forced another timeout at 29-27. A Penn State service error followed but a kill from Levy gave Penn State the 30-28 game two victory. Both Smith and Levy posted five kills while Walters and Nadeau recorded four digs each. Penn State outblocked the Wolverines 4.0 to 2.0 for the game.
Michigan jumped out to a 7-3 lead in game three before the Lions scored four consecutive points to tie the game at 7-7. Two ties ensued but the Wolverines took the lead for good at 10-9 on a kill. Penn State pulled to within three at 19-16 on a kill by Guokas but the Wolverines pulled away, taking the third set 30-20. The Nittany Lions hit .146 in the game, compared to .475 by Michigan. Levy led Penn State with three kills. Michigan¡¯s Jennifer Gandolph tallied nine kills in 14 attempts without an error in the set to hit .643.
Penn State took the 7-4 lead in the fourth set, forcing a Michigan timeout. The Wolverines responded to pull within one at 12-11 but a Pederson kill gave the Lions the 13-11 lead and the momentum. A Michigan timeout at 18-13 proved to be too little too late as the Lions went on to win the game 30-20 on a kill by Nadeau. Pederson tallied six kills on nine attempts with no errors to lead the Lions. Penn State outhit Michigan in .438 to .051 for the game, while also outblocking the Wolverines 6.5 to 0.0.
The Nittany Lions return home next weekend to host Purdue and Illinois. On Friday, Nov. 8, Penn State faces the Boilermakers in a 7:00 p.m., match before taking on the Fighting Illini on Saturday, Nov. 9, also at 7:00 p.m. in Rec Hall.
For complete match and season statistics and updates, please visit the women¡¯s volleyball homepage on Penn State¡¯s official athletic website, www.GoPSUsports.com.