Penn State saw its five-match winning streak come to end in a three-set loss to Oregon Friday night.
The Nittany Lions started uncharacteristically slow in the first set and weren’t able to overcome multiple Oregon runs, dropping the frame 25-17.
The blue and white held a four-point lead late in the second set, but that advantage wasn’t enough to keep the set from slipping away in a 25-21 loss.
Penn State fought valiantly in the third and final set, but in the end, Oregon’s firepower proved to be too much to overcome and the Ducks claimed the match with a 27-25 set win.
Here are three takeaways from the Nittany Lions’ straight-set defeat.
Behind the eight ball
Over the course of its five-match winning streak, Penn State started sets strong and rarely trailed.
That was not the case against the Ducks, as the Nittany Lions found themselves playing catchup in a first set loss.
Despite being in a 1-0 hole, the second frame looked to be heading in a different direction for Penn State, but the blue and white couldn’t capitalize on its opportunity.
Nittany Lions not up to the challenge
Against its highest-ranked opponent of the season, Penn State seemed to have met its match in terms of talent.
After breezing through the competition at Rec Hall last week, Russ Rose’s squad faced a much stiffer task against the 11th-ranked, and undefeated, Ducks — one it couldn’t pass.
Oregon flipped the script on a Penn State team that entered Friday’s match having won its last 15 sets, shutting out the Nittany Lions in a stellar, all-around performance.
Several Penn State players made their mark in the midst of the defeat.
A week after earning her 1000th kill in a Nittany Lion uniform, senior right side hitter Jonni Parker had 10 more to lead the blue and white alongside five digs.
While Penn State only hit .176 as a team, sophomore middle blocker Allie Holland and senior setter Gabby Blossom had efficient offensive nights as Holland had eight kills on .667 hitting, while Blossom routinely set up the Nittany Lions with a match-leading 30 assists.
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