Late Saturday afternoon, Penn State rolled past Iowa for a straight-set (25-11, 25-16, 25-17) win. With the win, the No. 11 Nittany Lions (18-7, 10-4 Big Ten) snap a four-game losing streak.
In the first set, the Lions went on a 5-0 run — four points of which were scored off blocks — before the Hawkeyes (18-8, 8-6 Big Ten) got on the board. However, the Nittany Lions were not fazed and quickly jumped out to a 13-7 lead before the Hawkeyes took their first timeout. After a service error from libero Kendall White, the Lions took another 6-0 point run before the Hawkeyes took a point though they trailed 19-8.
Middle blocker Haleigh Washington and outside hitter Simone Lee brought the Lions to set point, and, after Iowa took another three points, middle blocker Tori Gorrell and setter Bryanna Weiskircher followed up to finish the set 25-11.
Although tied early, Lee and middle blocker Heidi Thelen aided the Lions in pulling away from the Hawkeyes with a score of 9-4 in the second set. Exchanging points, back-to-back kills from Weiskircher and Lee gave the Nittany Lions a 15-8 edge to force Iowa’s first timeout. Out of the break, the Hawkeyes went on a 3-2 run before the Lions went on a 3-0 point run.
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A block by Washington and outside hitter Ali Frantti forced the Hawkeyes, who trailed 20-11, to take their second timeout. Iowa, however, came out of the break to make a 4-1 run which prompted the Lions to call their first timeout to regroup. Back on the court, the Lions allowed just one more point and took the second set 25-16.
In the third set, the Lions and the Hawkeyes battled to gain the upperhand before a kill and a block from Washington sparked a 4-1 run for the Lions. Three kills — two from Lee and one from Frantti — stretched the gap 18-13 and prompted the Hawkeyes to take another timeout.
Thelen and Frantti forced another Iowa timeout when the Lions reached set point at 24-17, but Washington slammed down the kill out of the break to give Penn State the match 25-17.