Ali Frantti Records 1000th Career Kills as #6 Penn State Beats WVU

  0 Braden Keith | August 27th, 2017 | Big 12, Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News

Match Stats

  • #6 Penn State def. West Virginia 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-5)
  • Penn State moves to 3-0, West Virginia falls to 2-1
  • West Virginia tournament, Morgantown, West Virginia
  • Attendance: 1,332
  • Box Score

Penn State senior Ali Frantti became the 26th player in Penn State history to reach 1000 kills on Saturday as 6th-ranked Penn State moved their season to 3-0 with a win over West Virginia.

Penn State’s all-time top 10 is likely just out of Frantti’s reach, but top 15 in the history of the sport’s winningnest program is in play.

On Saturday, she had 4 kills on 8 swings for a .500 hitting percentage – part of a big offensive day for the Nittany Lions, where they had 42 kills and just 6 errors for a .493 hitting percentage.

On the flip side, Penn State was able to hold last year’s top-scoring freshman in the nation, Payton Caffrey, to just 9 kills on 24 swings – a .167 hitting percentage. Natania Levak had 7 for West Virginia, but as a team they hit just .011 – including -.222 in the 3rd set. Katelyn Evans took 19 swings for West Virginia without recording a kill.

But in the least, West Virginia is making an effort at a more balanced offense this season. Last year, Caffrey took 34% of West Virginia’s offensive attempts. Through 3 games this season, that’s down to 25%.

In the 3rd set, Penn State jumped out to a 21-2 lead, including 17-straight serves from Kendall White.


Press Releases

Courtesy Penn State Athletics:

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – Senior Ali Frantti (Spring Grove, Ill.) became just the 26th player in program history to reach 1,000 kills as the No. 6 Penn State women’s volleyball team defeated West Virginia in straight sets, 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-5), to close out the West Virginia Tournament this evening from the WVU Coliseum.

Penn State (3-0) didn’t surrender a single set all weekend and got stronger as each match went on only allowing a total of 23 points in the third set in three total matches. PSU finished the evening hitting .493 with only six attack errors.

Senior Simone Lee (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) paced the team again with 12 kills while hitting .455. Senior classmates Abby Detering (Mentor, Ohio), Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and sophomore Tori Gorrell (Oakville, Ont.) added seven kills each while hitting .429, .545 and .545, respectively.

Penn State opened the match fast hitting .632 in the opening set with five blocks. Both Gorrell and Washington slammed three kills while senior Heidi Thelen (Edgewood, Ky.) and Lee swung 1.000 with a pair of kills each.

In set two the Lions rattled off seven consecutive points early to grab a 10-2 lead, but WVU fought back cutting the deficit to 11-7 after back-to-back blocks by Mia Swanegan midway through the set. PSU responded taking a 22-13 lead after consecutive kills from Detering and Frantti finished the set with her 1,000 career kill for the 25-15 score.

In true weekend fashion Penn State cruised in the third set using 18 straight points to jump out to a 21-2 lead after 17 straight serves by sophomore Kendall White (Indianapolis, Ind.). Lee had three kills and a block during the run.

Washington, who was named tournament MVP, finished the match by stuffing home an over set for the 25-5 final. Lee was also named to the All-Tournament Team.

Penn State hits the road again next weekend as they travel to College Station, Tx. to battle Stanford and the host Aggies on Friday and Saturday evening.

Courtesy West Virginia Athletics:

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Unable to match perennial contender Penn State, the West Virginia University volleyball team fell to the No. 6-ranked Nittany Lions, 3-0, in its first setback of the season on Saturday evening at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown. PSU took the match in set scores of 25-16, 25-15 and 25-5.

It marked the Mountaineers’ first loss of the season, moving them to 2-1. They finished as the runner-up in the WVU Invitational, while Penn State (3-0) took home top honors. A crowd of 1,332 came out for the match.

“We’ve got a long way to go,” coach Reed Sunahara said. “We want to be like Penn State. I told my team they play hard on every play. That’s the difference between having a program with tradition and a program that’s being built. The reason we play them is to see what the best team does, and I thought we got a good lesson tonight.”

Sophomore outside hitter Payton Caffrey and freshman libero Alexa Hasting earned all-tournament team honors for their efforts.

Caffrey led WVU with nine kills in the match, adding a trio of digs as well. Senior middle blocker Mia Swanegan and sophomore right side Natania Levak each had seven kills. Levak hit a team-best .357 on the night. Swanegan led the blocking effort with five total blocks, while Levak and senior outside hitter Morgan Montgomery each added one.

Senior Emma Anderson and sophomore Erin Slinde split time at setter, each dishing out 11 assists. Slinde also had a trio of digs while Anderson added a pair of digs and a kill.

Hasting finished the night with five digs, as freshmen defensive specialists Lindsay Proctor and Ava Richards had four and three, respectively. Richards had both WVU service aces.

The Mountaineers posted 24 kills and three team blocks. Penn State hit .493 with 42 kills and just six errors in the win.

Simone Lee led the Nittany Lions with 12 kills and a pair of blocks, while Haleigh Washington had five blocks and seven kills.

Caffrey notched seven kills in the first set, but the Mountaineers couldn’t match a hot Penn State offense and dropped the set 25-16. WVU battled at the start, as kills from Levak and Swanegan kept the Mountaineers within one at 6-5. The Nittany Lions scored three straight, then went on to post a 6-0 run that withstood two WVU timeouts to take a 20-12 lead over the Mountaineers. Caffrey found the court twice more, but it was too little, too late as West Virginia dropped the set, 25-16.

The Nittany Lions took a commanding lead early in the second set, using a 7-0 scoring run for a 10-2 advantage. Levak stopped the streak with a kill out of the timeout, and the Mountaineers then used back to back Swanegan blocks to come within four, down 11-7. However, they couldn’t hold onto the momentum as the Nittany Lions tallied three in a row for a 22-14 lead before using back to back kills to take the set 25-15.

Penn State scored 18 straight in the third set, taking a 21-2 lead. A kill by Levak stopped the run and was followed by an ace from Richards, but the Mountaineers couldn’t climb out of the hole. Back-to-back PSU kills gave the Nittany Lions the 25-5 triumph as WVU dropped the match, 3-0.

West Virginia heads to Minneapolis, Minnesota, for three matches next weekend. The Mountaineers face host No. 4-ranked Minnesota at 8 p.m. on Friday before taking on Tennessee (noon) and UTSA (4:30 p.m.) on Saturday.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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