Following Friday night’s three-set sweep over Illinois, No. 8 Penn State stayed hot against unranked Northwestern, coming away with a win in a dominant three-set victory.
The Nittany Lions came out firing in the first set, starting off the match with three straight kills and eventually building a lead that grew as wide as 10 points before winning the set 25-15.
The second set started a bit tighter than the first, but the Nittany Lions were able to continue to produce offense and give themselves a steady cushion throughout the set, coming away with a 25-18 victory.
The third set was rather predictable, with the blue and white building a lead early on and continuing dominant play in order to secure a win on the set and therefore on the match as well. The win over Northwestern is the team’s fourth in a row, as the team looks to nicely wrap up the regular season and began preparation for the NCAA tournament.
Penn State offensive leaders with huge days
Jonni Parker and Gabby Blossom were both big producers today, leading the game in kills and assists respectively.
Jonni Parker finished the match with 13 kills and 24 total attacks, seemingly sparking an attack every time the ball game to her.
Gabby Blossom was able to mark 42 assists, initiating offense efficiently nearly every possession.
Lack of offense devastates upset hopes for Northwestern
When playing a highly ranked conference opponent, anything can happen, and at any time an upset could be in order. However, a subpar offensive performance from the Wildcats paired with an excellent performance from the Nittany Lions shut down upset hopes quickly.
Northwestern hit a mere .138 on the match next to Penn State’s .400.
The Wildcats also only marked 27 kills on the match, and when compared to the Nittany Lions’ 55 it’s no surprise that the match ended how it did.
Timely push for blue and white
After Sunday’s win over Northwestern, Penn State has officially won 12 out of its last 13 sets, a streak that started right after the loss to Nebraska.
Three of these four matches have ended in a 3-0 sweep, and the one set the blue and white gave up was to Purdue, the number 15 team in the nation at the time.
Looking ahead to NCAA tournament seeding, the Nittany Lions’ recent showing of dominance is only helping their cause, and to continue to show an upwards trajectory following the loss can only help Penn State’s cause.