The winning streak continued for Penn State as the second this season is now concluded. The Nittany Lions played their second match on the road today as the team was matched up with SEC team, LSU, in the Cyclone Invitational.
Unlike last night’s match against Iowa State, Penn State picked up right where the momentum left off from last night. The Nittany Lions swept the Tigers in straight sets fashion for the second time in this tournament (25-16, 25-11, 25-16).
In the first set, the team did not skip a beat. Penn State was able to establish an early lead which continued to be a consistent factor for the rest of the match. At one point in the match, Penn State was leading 15-8, and since that point the score was held at a lead no less than five points.
The second set was characterized as one full of rallies, and taking advantage of having serve.
Penn State won by a whopping margin of 14 points, the biggest point differential from this weekend. Penn State was on average going on three point scoring runs, and the most being a run that lasted five points.
Both new and returning players had their own effect on the set. Jonni Parker had six kills within the set, and freshman Lauren Clark had two kills to assist in finishing the set.
Senior Keeton Holcomb, who last played in the 2017 season, she got subbed in frequently and was able to have a service ace and an assist during her time in.
In the final set, Penn State got off to a slow start that was similar to the one that happened in the beginning of the Iowa State match the previous day. The team did not start having a lead till halfway through the set at the 14-13 point marker.
Due to a couple of rallies and limiting errors, the team was able to create a gap between them and the Tigers to ultimately win the final set. The Nittany Lions finished the weekend 2-0, and were able to continue their win streak to now make the total five games won in straight sets.
The pin hitters for Penn State were a major part for the win of today’s match. Parker had a total of 11 kills and Allyson Cathey having a total of nine kills. Gabby Blossom had a total of 35 assists, and having a total of 67 assists this weekend.
With every game, the Nittany Lions are preparing for the intensity of what the Big Ten Conference and NCAA Tournament will have to face later in the season.
The next team Penn State will face will be Stanford, who the Nittany Lions lost to in the quarterfinals of last year’s NCAA Tournament.
In these tournaments, Penn State is able to focus on the errors that are necessary to be fixed as soon as possible so they do not develop into a larger problem in the future.
Taking what the team has learned this weekend, Penn State will train for the West Coast that will come to Rec Hall.