Penn State women's volleyball vs Purdue, Gabby Blossom (13) and Jonni Parker (9) celebrate

Penn State setter Gabby Blossom (13) and right side hitter Jonni Parker (9) celebrate a point during the women’s volleyball match against Purdue at Rec Hall on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. The no. 8 Nittany Lions defeated the no. 15 Boilermakers 3-1.

After defeating Rutgers in straight sets, Penn State looked to carry its momentum from Friday into its match with Ohio State.

The Nittany Lions walked out of Rec Hall with a victory over the Buckeyes, taking them down 3-0.

For the early part of the first set, the possibility of making that statement was likely, as the blue and white took on an 18-14 lead midway through the opener.

Penn State was in the driver seat for the bulk of the first, taking the set with a fairly distant 25-19 margin.

Ohio State would offer more of a challenge in the second set, with Penn State not taking its first lead of the set until a score of 10-9.

The Buckeyes would do their best to hang on, pushing the set to a 25-25 tie, however, the Nittany Lions would rally to win the second 27-25.

The third, and final, set began with an early 5-2 start for Ohio State, but Penn State would prove resilient, tying it up at 20-20 late, and eventually taking the set 25-21.

Nittany Lions come out strong

One of the stark differences between Russ Rose’s squad in the first set of this match, compared to those before, was the consistency in Sunday’s first set.

Senior outside-hitter Adanna Rollins led the way for Penn State, totaling five kills in the first set, holding down her side of the court for the entirety of the opener. Parker also continued to impress, putting up three kills of her own.

The blue and white came into the game as the underdog, yet it looked more impressive opening up against the Buckeyes than it did in its other three ranked match-ups.

Penn State finishes even stronger

One of the defining moments of the match was a comeback from a 22-20 deficit for Penn State. Just two weeks ago, the Nittany Lions blew a 24-22 lead in a clinching fourth set to No. 14 Stanford, ultimately costing them the match.

Surely Russ Rose has to be happy with the effort from his squad against the Buckeyes, to be on the good side of a comeback late into the set.

Penn State may have gotten its biggest win of the season on Sunday. After a shaky 8-3 start to the season, the blue and white may have turned a corner.

Gabby Blossom shines

Senior setter Gabby Blossom was one of the unsung heroes from Penn State’s surprising performance against the Buckeyes.

Supporting her teammates from the backcourt, Blossom was nothing short of dependable, totaling 36 assists and 13 digs — both team-highs for the blue and white.

Blossom continuously set up Penn State for success, and her unselfish play went a long way in helping the Nittany Lions take the win.


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Nate Lather is a men's hockey reporter at The Daily Collegian. He is a sophomore majoring in journalism.