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Penn State women's volleyball tops Michigan in back-and-forth affair

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Penn State women's volleyball vs. Maryland

Middle blocker Allie Holland (20) and setter Gabby Blossom (13) block the ball during the Penn State women's volleyball game against Maryland at Rec Hall on Friday, October 29th, 2021 in University Park, Pa. Penn State beat Maryland 3-0.

After suffering its first unranked loss its last time out, Penn State bounced back against Michigan in Rec Hall Friday night.

The Nittany Lions dropped the first set but won the next three to claim a 3-1 victory over the Wolverines.

Michigan led throughout the first set, pelting the Nittany Lions with well-placed kills toward the back of the court.

Forced to play from behind, Penn State didn’t do itself many favors with six attacking errors, and ultimately fell 25-22.

Penn State showed much more energy in the second set, playing with strong communication and teamwork, which helped the Nittany Lions to even the match at one set apiece, taking the second frame 25-22.

The third set began neck-and-neck, with the two teams trading points to a 13-13 tie.

From there, the Nittany Lions cruised, taking a healthy lead and riding the hometown momentum to win 25-22.

Michigan did not go down easily, rallying from behind in the fourth set and nearly forcing a fifth.

Penn State managed to hold on, though, clinching a 25-23 victory.

Here are three takeaways from Penn State’s four-set win over Michigan.

Jenna Hampton leads strong defense

Penn State senior defensive specialist Jenna Hampton was a force on the back line, laying out on the Rec Hall floor to save several points for the Nittany Lions.

Hampton finished with 26 digs on the night.

She was an integral part in Penn State’s win, especially after going down 1-0 in the match.

Penn State rallies behind fans

Penn State started out flat at home, allowing the Wolverines to take control of the first set.

From that point, the Nittany Lions woke up and played with noticeably more energy.

In the ensuing sets, Penn State jumped out to leads and were able to protect them.

The home crowd and pep band fed into the newfound energy, creating an electric environment.

Rec Hall acted almost as a seventh player as each dig, kill and serve was accompanied by a roar of approval.

Rollins, Parker prove too much

The senior duo of Adanna Rollins and Jonni Parker led the charge for Penn State’s offense.

Rollins finished with a season-high 21 kills, while Parker had 14 of her own.

Each hammered the ball across the net, creating seemingly impossible situations for Michigan at times.

Wearing down a normally sturdy back line proved to be key in Penn State’s victory.

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