The Penn State women’s volleyball team battled back from eight points down in the second set after dropping the first to upend Illinois in five sets Friday night.
The 19-25, 25-22, 24-26, 25-15, 15-12 victory gave head coach Russ Rose his 1,106th career victory, tying him for No. 2 on the all-time Division I list with former UCLA leader Andy Banachowski. The retired Bruins coach was passed earlier this season by Hawaii’s Dave Shoji, who is No 1 on the list with 1,119 wins.
The No. 4 Nittany Lions (15-2, 6-1) survived an error-prone night, hitting .269 with 13 unforced hitting errors and 16 service miscues.
The team was paced by Deja McClendon’s 14 kills and 10 digs, Ariel Scott’s 12 kills and five blocks, Katie Slay’s 12 kills and four blocks, Nia Grant’s 10 kills and six blocks, Micha Hancock’s 49 assists, Dominique Gonzalez’s 13 digs and Megan Courtney’s 11 digs.
Morganne Criswell’s 21 kills and Jocelynn Birks’ 13 kills and 13 digs led the Illini (7-10, 3-4), who were held to .211 hitting and outblocked 13-8.5.
Penn State visits Northwestern on Sunday afternoon.