Sweet 16: Penn State Sweeps Northwestern

A Ringo Starr Sweep

We came out tonight focused and confident, but all credit goes to Penn State.  There are no easy nights in the Big Ten. Penn State played an aggressive and smart match tonight. They took advantage of some mistakes on our side and they earned the victory.

(Northwestern head coach Keylor Chan, following Penn State’s 3-0 win)

NUsports.com put it more bluntly: “Penn State . . . declawed the Northwestern Wildcats . . . .”  That pretty much sums up the evening.  The Nittany Lions were never really threatened, even when trailing 4-1 in the first set (a circumstance that totally befuddled the BTN scorekeeper, who had Penn State (25-2. 15-1 Big Ten) up 5-2 at one point, before finally acknowledging the reality of the situation and putting the Wildcats, briefly, in the lead), and ended the evening with a Ringo Star Sweep — 25-16, 25-16, 25-16.

Penn State was lead by 6-2 So. MH Nia Grant (8 kills, .429 attack %) and 6-1 Jr. OH Deja McClendon (8 kills, .261 attack %), followed by 6-4 Jr. RS/Opp Ariel Scott (7 kills, .273 attack %), 6-2 Fr. OH Megan Courtney (6 kills and 3 solo blocks — she now leads the team with 21 solo blocks for the season!), and 6-6 Jr. MH Katie Slay (6 kills, .600 attack %).   5-6 So. L Dominique Gonzalez was tops in the match with 13 digs.

5-11 Jr. OH Stephanie Holthus had 11 kills and 11 digs for the Wildcats — her 15th double-double of the season.  5-10 So. OH Yewande Akanbi was second on the team with 6 kills. 5-10 Fr. DS Abbie Kraus totaled 9 digs.

Match Stats

(Courtesy of GoPSUsports.com)