No. 4 Penn State women’s volleyball (12-1, 2-0) struggled against Iowa (8-7, 0-2) in front of more than 3,200 at Rec Hall on Saturday, but ultimately pulled out the win.
The Nittany Lions appeared to have all but won the third set, after already winning the first two sets, but the Hawkeyes refused to quit. The Lions were ahead in the set 18-12 when a string of hitting errors, including two by star junior Katie Slay, evened the match at 20. Iowa ended up winning the set, 29-27.
The fourth and final set told a completely different story however, with Penn State winning 25-14. All-American outside hitter Deja McClendon carried the Lions, leading the team in both kills and digs, notching 18 of each of them. One of the most telling statistics of the game was the fact that Iowa committed more attacking errors, 27 to 21, and more service errors, 9 to 8.
Lions’ head coach Russ Rose has often stressed the need to cut down on errors and said he felt “fortunate” to win the match.