Courtesy: Penn State Athletics
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The No. 4 Penn State women’s volleyball team hosts Rutgers on Wednesday afternoon at Rec Hall in a 7 p.m. Big Ten Network match. This is the first of two meetings between these two squads this week as Penn State heads to Rutgers on Saturday evening.
#4 Penn State vs. Rutgers
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Women’s Volleyball fans will have free parking in the Nittany Parking Deck, as well as in the Red A lots off North Atherton Street at White Course Drive. The Rec Hall ticket office opens 90 minutes before all matches.
Penn State will square off with Rutgers twice this week, hosting the Scarlet Knights on Wednesday, October 17, and heading to Piscataway, N.J. on Saturday, October 20. Penn State holds a 31-9 all-time record over the Scarlet Red & Black.
Last Ten Results – Rutgers
09/08/01 30-24, 30-28, 30-32, 30-25 W H
08/30/02 30-14, 30-10, 30-16 W H
09/03/04 30-24, 30-25, 30-18 W H
09/17/11 25-12, 25-17, 25-14 W H
11/07/14 25-11, 25-12, 25-10 W H
11/06/15 25-19, 25-17, 25-12 W A
09/21/16 25-17, 25-17, 25-5 W A
10/08/16 25-13, 25-16, 25-10 W H
11/4/17 25-9, 25-9, 25-12 W H
11/18/17 25-5, 25-9, 25-9 W A
Penn State has seen seven of their eight freshmen play significant time so far this season.
Against Purdue, Penn State saw two freshman have career nights. Jonni Parker put down a season-high for both herself and the team with 18 kills, and Amanda Phegley saw her first real playing time contributions as she came off the bench as a middle blocker. She put down a 6-0-9 hitting line with two blocks and a dig.
Kaitlyn Hord and Serena Gray have found themselves as the starting middle blockers, while Jonni Parker has played as the starting opposite. Over the last three matches, Allyson Cathey has stepped in to start at the outside position. Both Jenna Hampton and Gabby Blossom have seen time as defensive specialists. The rookies combine for 444 of the team’s 806 kills, or 55.1-percent. They also have recorded 54.7-percent of the total points.
MUCH NEEDED EXPERIENCE
While Penn State has relied heavily on the play of the eight freshmen on the sideline, it has been the play of Penn State’s four fifth year seniors that has really provided an anchor to the line-up. Taylor Leath, a graduate student, Nia Reed and Bryanna Weiskircher, both redshirt seniors, and Bayleigh Hoffman, a fifth-year senior with a wealth of experience after spending two years at Louisiana Monroe, a redshirt year at North Florida, and a year on Penn State’s club team, have all helped guide these freshman. Leath and Reed have anchored from the outside, while Weiskircher has conducted a balanced offense so far as the team’s starting setter. Hoffman has seen time as a serving sub, providing a blow for a few freshman.
Penn State has had five different athletes lead them in kills so far this season. Nia Reed has led the Nittany Lions on six occasions, including a career-high 20 kills against Nebraska. Taylor Leath and Jonni Parker have led in five matches. Kaitlyn Hord has led in three matches, while freshman Allyson Cathey, who earned the start while Nia Reed was out, and led in kills on two occasions.
Kendall White scooped up 279 digs so far this season, putting her at 1,241 for her career, just five digs from moving into ninth place. She is the first to surpass 1,000 since Dom Gonzalez in 2011-14
Penn State Career Top-10 Digs
1. 1,957 Kaleena Walters, 2002-05
2. 1,685 Kim Kumfer, 1989-92
3. 1,522 Noelle Zientara, 1987-90
4. 1,474 Dominique Gonzalez, 2011-14
5. 1,313 Ellen Hensler, 1983-86
6. 1,306 Roberta Holehouse, 2005-08
7. 1,278 Salima Davidson, 1991-94
8. 1,265 Michelle Jaworski, 1987-90
9. 1,245 Alyssa D’Errico, 2007-10
10. 1,241 Kendall White, 2016-Pres.
11. 1,207 Sam Tortorello, 2002-05
UPDATED MATCH TIME VS. PURDUE
With the Penn State football game on October 27 getting a 3:30 p.m. start time, the Penn State vs. Purdue women’s volleyball match has been pushed back to an 8:00 p.m. start.