Penn State Nittany Lions, No. 20-ranked, defeated the Rhode Island Rams in a crushing 3-0 (25-6, 25-18, 25-13) match Friday night to open the Penn State Invitational.
It seemed like Penn State was the only team in the game, dominating the entire first set. Rhode Island couldn’t catch up to the Lions 17-4 lead that quickly turned into the final score of 25-6.
Rhode Island finally jumped into the game in the second set, keeping up with apeman State’s pace. With a tied score at 10-10, the Lions found their pace and broke away, taking advantage of some of the Rams mistakes. A 17-12 Lion lead forced a URI timeout. Heidi Thelen helped Penn State get their 22-17 lead and forced another Rhode Island timeout. Unfortunately for the Rams, the timeout wasn’t enough to take the win away from Penn State.
The Nittany Lions offense dominated the third game, and their defense only allowed the Rams 13 points to close the match.
This win marked the fourth game of Penn State’s 4-game winning streak and their fifth sweep of the season. Penn State now holdds a 12-0 record against Rhode Island.
Courtesy of Penn State Athletics
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The No. 20 Penn State women’s volleyball team (6-3) had a dominant performance Friday evening in a 3-0 (25-6, 25-18, 25-13) win against Rhode Island (4-6) inside the friendly confines of Rec Hall.
Penn State had an impressive performance on both ends of the net, hitting at a .375 clip over three sets while limiting Rhode Island to a negative percentage. The junior duo of Haleigh Washington and Simone Lee led the way for the Nittany Lions over the evening. Washington had 11 kills on 14 attempts for a blistering .786 hitting. She added five blocks.
Lee tacked on 10 kills for her eighth match this season in double figures. The Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, native added five digs and a pair of blocks.
Penn State rounds out its non-conference slate tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 17, in a doubleheader. The Nittany Lions will take on Howard (10-3) tomorrow at 10 a.m. before closing out the Penn State Invitational with Clemson (4-6) at 7 p.m. Fans can gain entrance to the second match for just $4 dollars with a ticket stub from the Penn State-Temple football game.
The Nittany Lions fired out the gates in their first set, opening the match on a 7-0 run, powered by Lee with a trio of kills. Penn State allowed just six points in the entire first frame, as PSU followed Rhode Island’s first score with a 6-1 run of their own. Back-to-back kills from Washington were followed by a URI timeout when Penn State led, 17-4. URI scored twice more before kills from Washington, Lee and junior setter Abby Detering closed out the first set, 25-6.
The second set proved a tougher challenge. Both sides traded points to 10-10 before the Nittany Lions found their stride. A pair of Washington kills and errors from Rhode Island made it a five-point set and led Rhode Island to call for time at 17-12. The sides traded points once again before a pair of kills from junior Heidi Thelen turned the tide. The two scores gave Penn State a 22-17 advantage, forcing Rhode Island’s second timeout. Washington notched one more kill before an error gave PSU a 2-0 advantage headed into the break, taking the second set 25-18.
Detering took hold in the final frame, guiding Penn State to .345 hitting while adding a trio of kills en route to the decisive 25-13 victory. After PSU and URI tied at six-all, Washington, Detering and junior outside hitter Ali Frantti each posted kills to lead a 4-0 run and force the Rhode Island timeout. The team never looked back, with Simone and Thelen providing a combined three kills to take a 19-10 lead. Washington and Detering closed out the set with kills to complete the sweep.
Notes: Team No. 20 Penn State pushed past Rhode Island in three sets (25-6,25-18,25-13), extending the Nittany Lions to a 4-0 winning streak.
– Tonight’s win marks Penn State’s fifth straight-set victory of the season.
– Two Nittany Lions recorded double figure kills in tonight’s match. Junior Haleigh Washington led the team for the second time of the season posting 11 kills on 14 errorless swings. Junior Simone Lee finished second on the team with 10 kills.
– Penn State out-blocked Rhode Island 8.0 to 4.0, with multi-block performances by six different Nittany Lions. JuniorHaleigh Washington led the blocking unit with a total of five blocks, including one solo stuff.
– The Nittany Lions out-dug the Rams 40-31, led by a match-high 10 digs from freshman Kendall White.
– Penn State out-aced Rhode Island 4-0, thanks to service aces from three players. Freshman Emily Sciorra led the way registering a career-high two aces. Series
– Penn State holds a 26-1 advantage in the all-time series against Rhode Island and 10-0 in matches played at home in Rec Hall. – The Nittany Lions currently have a 12-0 winning streak against the Rams.
Haleigh Washington, junior middle blocker: Washington posted match-high totals of 11 kills and five blocks, marking her fifth time leading the blocking unit and fourth match of the season with double figure kills.
Simone Lee, junior outside hitter: Lee tallied 10 kills and five digs, marking her seventh consecutive double figure kill performance of the season.
Kendall White, freshman defense specialist: White led the defense for the seventh time with 10 digs, recording her sixth match of the season with double digit digs.
Abby Detering, junior setter: Detering dished out 27 assists, pacing the team to a .375 hitting percentage, finishing third on with five digs.
Emily Sciorra, freshman defense specialist: Sciorra led the team from the service line logging a career-high two aces in addition to three digs.
Heidi Thelen, junior middle blocker: Thelen put away six kills to go along with two digs and one block.
What’s Next: Penn State will face Howard in their next match int he Penn State Invitational, and Clemson Saturday night to end the tourney and the Lions non-conference schedule.
Follow the Nittany Lions on Facebook, Twitter @PennStateVolleyball and Instagran @pennstatevball
Courtesy of Rhode Island Athletics
How it Happened
No. 20 Penn State got off to a dominant start, downing Rhode Island 25-6 in the opening set. The Nittany Lions jumped out to a 7-0 lead and closed the set out on a 6-0 run for the 1-0 advantage.
The second set was much closer, with URI overcoming an early deficit and tying the score at 7-7, 8-8, 9-9 and 10-10. Penn State began to distance itself from there however, outscoring Rhode Island 15-8 down the stretch to go up 2-0.
The Rams scored the first four points of the third set and led 7-4 before the Nittany Lions reeled off seven straight points to take over the lead for good.
Inside the Box Score
- Senior Audrey Castro let the Rams with eight kills on the night. She also added five digs and a pair of blocks
- Senior Layne Self had seven kills and a team-high three blocks.
- Senior Callan Kinnan recorded 17 assists, six digs and one solo block.
- Junior Jessie Blaze finished with nine digs while sophomore Olivia Budinich had eight.
Stat of the Match
4 – The Rams were swept for just the fourth time in the team’s last 44 matches, dating back to the 2014 season.
Up Next: Rhody closes out play at the Penn State Invitational on Saturday, facing Clemson at 1:00 p.m. and Howard at 4:30 p.m.
Audry Castro (8 kills, 5 digs)
Layne Self (7 kills, 1 dig)
Keep up with Rhode Island on Facebook, Twitter @rhodvball and Instagram @gorhodyrams