- #1 Penn State def.#7 Minnesota 3-1 (29-27, 25-20, 24-26, 25-20)
- Penn State moves to 29-1, 19-1 B1G; Minnesota 26-5, 15-5 B1G
- Penn State clinches a share of the Big Ten title alongside Nebraska
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Box Score
MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota did not make it easy, but in the end No. 1 Penn State came through with a four-set win and a share of the Big Ten title on Saturday.
The Nittany Lions put up 18 blocks and outhit the Golden Gophers .273 to .221 in the victory.
Senior middle blocker Haleigh Washington and senior outside hitter Simone Lee paced Penn State with 21 and 20 kills respectively. Washington hit at a .514 clip and added seven blocks, while Lee chipped in eight digs and five blocks. Redshirt sophomore middle Tori Gorrell followed with nine kills, an errorless team-high .643 hitting effort and a team-best nine blocks. Senior outside Ali Frantti led a group of three Nittany Lions with double-digit dig tallies, pulling up 17, while redshirt junior setter Bryanna Weiskircher (13) and sophomore libero Kendall White (13) followed.
Freshman opposite Stephanie Samedy put down a match-high 22 kills and added 13 digs for Minnesota. Sophomore outside Alexis Hart and redshirt freshman middle Regan Pittman turned in 19 and 10 putaways. Senior middle Molly Lohman put up a team-high five blocks, while senior outside Alyssa Goehner led a group of four players with double-digit dig efforts. Goehner managed 14 saves followed by Samedy (13), senior libero Dalianliz Rosado (12) and junior setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson (10).
The teams tied 12 times in Set 1 and managed a combined five set-point attempts, before Penn State claimed the 29-27 victory. Minnesota appeared to be in control early, boasting an 11-5 lead with help from four Nittany Lion miscues and three Pittman putaways. PSU sliced the margin to one at 12-11 behind four stuffs. The Gophers took a timeout and led 17-14, before Frantti added a block and a kill in amidst a 4-0 run to put PSU up 18-17. Down 19-18, Lee turned in three kills to give the Nittany Lions a 22-20 edge. Momentum swung back to the Gophers at 23-22. Penn State had the first shot at the set at 24-23, but soon faced one from the Gophers at 25-24 after kills by Hart and Samedy. Putaways by Washington and Abby Detering thrwarted two more Minnesota tries at 26-25 and 27-26. PSU stole away the win with kills by Detering and Washington and a Gopher hitting error.
The teams played to a 12-all tie in Set 2 before Penn State pulled away with a 7-2 run, including three kills and a block by Gorrell. The Gophers were within two twice, at 19-17 and 21-19, but could not break through as the Nittany Lions capped the win with four of the final five points. Kills by Frantti and Detering and an ace by Keeton Holcomb set up the final point, which came on a Gopher service error.
Minnesota jumped out to a 13-7 lead in Set 3 with kills by five different players. Samedy downed three kills and Pittman and Hart notched two apiece in the early run. Down 15-11 at the media timeout, PSU began its comeback, chipping away to within two at 19-17 with two kills and an ace by Washington and a kill and a block by Gorrell. Back-t0-back Hart putaways made it 22-17 Gophers. Thelena and Washington turned in two kills each as PSU knotted the score at 23. Samedy downed two kills to give Minnesota set point tries at 24-23 and 25-24 and McLean wrapped the stanza. The Gophers outhit Penn State .325 to .289 in the win.
After a tie at 11, Lee pounded down three kills as part of a 5-0 Penn State run to make it 16-11 in favor of the visitors. The Gophers would get no closer than three the rest of the match. Down 23-18, a Nittany Lion hitting error and Samedy kill kept Minnesota in the match at 23-20, but a Lee putaway and a final stuff by Gorrell gave Penn State the conference crown.
Check out what two of our seniors had to say following the match. #WeAre pic.twitter.com/Md8KSCFzaq
— Penn State Women’s Volleyball (@PennStateVBALL) November 26, 2017