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Penn State women’s volleyball hits road to face Michigan, Michigan State in rematches

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Penn State women's volleyball vs. Michigan, Penn State celebration

The Penn State women's volleyball team celebrates after defeating Michigan 3-1 on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021 at Rec Hall in University Park, Pa.

Penn State is in for an exciting weekend of volleyball as it will face recent competitors — Michigan State and Michigan.

The Nittany Lions will start the weekend in a Friday night match against their rivals in the Wolverines.

Though Ann Arbor is far from Happy Valley, the blue and white hope to carry over the same energy it had on its home court last weekend in Rec Hall to secure a win on the road.

The maize and blue gained both a win and a loss last weekend, bringing its overall record to 14-9.

Michigan came out strong against Penn State in the first set last Friday, although this would be the only winning set the team would see, but the Wolverines never gave up hope against the Nittany Lions.

Senior outside hitter Paige Jones of Michigan ended the night with 19 kills, two short of the game leader senior outside hitter Adanna Rollins.

Rollins came alive during the Michigan game, earning praise from Russ Rose and her fellow teammates.

The Wolverines’ following match was more in favor of the maize and blue, as it swept Maryland in three sets.

Set one and two of the Maryland game put Michigan in complete control of the tempo, as the team obtained a heavy lead.

The third set Maryland gained momentum, but not enough to get a win, losing the set 25-22 along with the match.

The Wolverines have still not been able to secure a spot on the AVCA Coaches Poll, and even though nine votes were casted in the team’s favor, that was not enough to see its name in the top 25.

With a home crowd rooting behind them, and a sense of confidence following the Maryland win, the Wolverines will have revenge in mind when the Nittany Lions go to Ann Arbor.

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Following the match against Michigan, Penn State will make the short, 65-mile trip to East Lansing to take on the Spartans Saturday night.

Similar to the Wolverines, the Spartans picked up a win and a loss last weekend, a combination that brought their overall record to 10-13.

In an unpredictable match against Rutgers, Michigan State was able to capitalize on the Scarlet Knights in order to secure the win, ending the night with 48 kills overall and a 3-1 victory.

Michigan State transferred over this winning mindset to the Penn State match last weekend.

The teams battled in five sets where the Nittany Lions eventually stole the win in the final frame.

In the upcoming match, the blue and white will have to reflect back and remember sophomore outside hitter Sarah Franklin.

Franklin was a standout player last weekend, obtaining a career-high 27 kills against the Penn State defense.

Senior middle blocker Kaitlyn Hord ended the night against Michigan State with 24 kills of her own and six blocks.

The green and white will have to keep an eye on Hord, as she was a huge contribution to the team's success on defense and offense.

The Spartans will host Rutgers Friday night in hopes to gain another win and pick up momentum for the following match against the blue and white.

The green and white are currently not ranked in the AVCA Coaches Poll, but this weekend is the opportunity for the team to prove its talents before the end of the season.

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