Courtney Leads Lions as PSU Edges Minnesota in Five-Set Battle

Blue in the Face

5,000+ Blue and White fans were almost all-blue, Saturday night, as Minnesota gave the Nittany Lions all they could handle, and in some cases more.  Penn State (13-0, 2-0 B1G) which jumped out to a 2-0 lead after two sets (25-22, 25-16), watched that lead evaporate to a tenacious and talented Minnesota (9-3, 1-1 B1G) squad, which won sets three and four (19-25, 20-25), and battled in the hard-fought fifth set before the Nittany Lions  finally prevailed, 15-12.  The first set may have been a harbinger of things to come, as Minnesota outhit Penn State .324 to PSU’s .267.





Megan Courtney on losing sets 3 and 4: "Can't happen"
Megan Courtney on losing sets 3 and 4: “Can’t happen”

Asked after the match how it felt to go from a dominant performance in the 2nd set (and a 2-0 lead) to a winner-take-all fifth set, 6-2 Sr. OH Megan Courtney had a simple, to-the-point answer: “Can’t happen.”  Courtney went on to say:

I thought we played well in the second set, but that break, it’s good for them because they got a chance to regroup and change their lineup — they switched who they were playing in the middle — but that doesn’t mean that we stop playing, and I think we stopped playing a little bit in the second, and third and fourth sets.

After the match, Coach Rose complimented the play of two seniors: Penn State’s Megan Courtney (a match-high 22 kills, with 13 digs and five blocks) and Minnesota’s 6-1 OH Daly Santana (19 kills, hitting .255, which in a match where Penn State hit .198 as  a team and Minnesota hit .216 was very good):

Daly Santana
Daly Santana
Great crowd, great student section, Rec Hall
Great crowd, great student section, Rec Hall

We were fortunate to win it based on how we  played for the third and fourth games.  I thought it was a well-played match by the two seniors.  I thought Santana and Megan were especially key for their teams, with their confidence and  their smart shots.  But sometimes you win those games because you’re playing at home.  I thought we had a great crowd — we’re appreciative of the crowd and the band and the support that we get.

[Minnesota has]  great talent, Hugh [McCutcheon] is a great coach — he led the United States to a gold medal and a silver medal  in two Olympics — he’s got a great feel for the game, he’s got a great roster of talent, a very rich state from which to draw.  I don’t think we’re the only team they’re going to be challenging — they beat 10th-ranked Ohio State a couple of nights ago,  so they’re very strong.  I would expect them to continue to very great things.  They’re a tough matchup with the Tapp sisters — they’re athletic, there were times they were hitting the ball over the block, and  when you’re hitting the ball over the block, there are a lot of opportunities to score.


Taylor Krause
Taylor Krause

I thought Taylor [Krause] [Penn State’s 5-6 Jr DS who registered a career-high 10 digs] did a real nice job coming in.  I thought [6-0 Fr. setter] Bryanna [Weiskircher] steadied out.  I thought she was good early, got a little complacent in the middle games, and provided good direction in the last game.  To have 12 kills in a 15-point game — that’s a lot of kills.



Simone Lee
Simone Lee

Coach Rose commented that he thought the team looked tired, and in two sets, sent in 6-1 So. OH Simone Lee,  who registered one kill (no errors).  Asked about her play, Rose hinted that lineup changes might be forthcoming:

I don’t think [Simone] really had a lot of opportunities to do things, and that’s more on me than Simone.  But you don’t have to look very far into the score sheet to see that we have a couple of people that we have to find a better way to get some performance out of them.  So whether it’s a little different lineup massage — we looked at that a couple days this week, we may look at things again.  I think Simone’s  a really good net player and has great energy and spirit, is physically strong, and I think those are some traits that we should try to get on the floor a little more often.

In addition to Santana, three Gophers tallied more than 10 kills: 6-1 Jr. Paige Tapp (14 kills, plus a match-high 9 blocks), 6-2 Jr. Hannah Tapp (13) and 5-11 So. OH Alyssa Goehner (11).  Fr. setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson put together another outstanding match, with 52 assists, and 5-9 So. libero Dalianliz Rosado led all players with 24 digs, followed by Goehner with 17.

Stat Snap

 Kills 65 60
 Assists 61 58
 Digs 75 76
 Blocks 11.0 13.0
Individual Leaders
 Kills  Courtney (22)
 Attack%  H Tapp (.345)
 Assists  Weiskircher (54)
 Digs  Rosado (24)
 Blocks  P Tapp (8 BA, 1 BS)

Match Video (Courtesy of Big Ten Network, thanks to psumaui)


  • Penn State player photos courtesy of
  • Daly Santana photo courtesy of

Match Stats

(Courtesy of
New Minny Stats
Penn State Stats