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No. 10 Penn State Uses 6-0 Run to Close Out Win Over No. 11 Purdue

Photo by Jeff Shomo

The Lions Trailed 23-19 before rallying for the win in set four

Courtesy of GoPSU Athletics


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – No. 10 Penn State erased a four-point deficit with a 6-0 run to close out the set and the match in a 3-1 (25-19, 16-25, 25-21, 25-23) win over No. 11 Purdue in Big Ten women’s volleyball action Saturday at Rec Hall.

The Lions split the weekend series with the Boilermakers and evened their record at 5-5. Purdue exited with a 9-5 record.

Penn State led 2-1 in the match but trailed 23-19 in set four before picking up the much-needed win thanks to the 6-0 run. The Lions called timeout and responded out of the break with a block by Jonni Parker and Kaitlyn Hord. That set the tone as they scored the next three points on kills – one by Serena Gray and two by Parker – to tie it at 23-all.

Purdue took its final timeout once the score was tied but it didn’t slow down Penn State. The Lions took the lead on an attack error by the Boilermakers and finished strong with a block by Gray and Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick, a freshman, had a big match for Penn State, finishing with 16 kills, 13 digs, three aces and two blocks. It was her second double-double in as many days and her third of the season.

Jonni Parker did a little bit of everything in the win. She matched Fitzpatrick with a match-high 16 kills and added six blocks and nine digs. The Lions finished with 10 blocks as a team, including four block assists apiece from Hord and Gray.

Less than 24 hours after allowing Purdue to total 55 kills on .241 hitting in a losing effort, Penn State rebounded and held the Boilermakers to 48 kills on .186 hitting. Three Lions finished with double-digit digs as Jenna Hampton and Gabby Blossom joined Fitzpatrick with 17 and 13, respectively. Hampton led all players in the category.

Blossom tallied 46 assists while recording her sixth double-double in eight matches played this season. Anastasiya Kudryashova chipped in with nine kills.

The Lions did much better against All-American outside hitter Grace Cleveland in Saturday’s win, holding her to 13 kills on .250 hitting, six digs and five blocks. While it was still a solid performance for the Purdue star, it paled in comparison to the near triple-double of 11 kills, 10 blocks and nine digs she totaled on Friday.

Purdue’s Caitlyn Newton, the Big Ten leader in kills and attacks, was busy again with 16 kills on 51 total attacks. Jena Otec tallied 16 digs.

Saturday’s match was Penn State’s sixth against a nationally-ranked opponent in a span of 22 days.

Up next for the Lions are matches against Rutgers at Rec Hall on March 12-13. Saturday’s match will air live on Big Ten Network.

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