No. 8 Penn State shuts out Virginia
Nittany Lions bounce back with strong outing against Cavs
UNIVERSITY PARK, Penn. -- Following a tough setback to Old Dominion on Friday, Penn State picked up a 3-0 upset victory against the Virginia Cavaliers on Sunday afternoon. Sophomore Lauren Purvis, freshman Jenna Chrismer and senior Hannah Allison each scored goals for the Nittany Lions.
"We came out really strong as a team today," said Penn State head coach Charlene Morett. "We made great adjustments from Friday's game against Old Dominion. I told the team before today's game about how the Penn State women's volleyball team made a great comeback against USC on Saturday night. I think that really motivated our players today."
The Nittany Lions played a great game on the defensive end, as they outshot the Cavaliers 14-9. Redshirt junior Ayla Halus was excellent in the cage, as she posted her eighth career shutout and recorded five saves.
Penn State took total control of the first half, as the Nittany Lions tallied eight total shots, including six on goal. The Lions held the Cavaliers to just one total shot in the first stanza. Penn State additionally had five penalty corners in the first half, compared to Virginia's zero.
The Nittany Lions earned two penalty corners within the first six minutes of the game. Penn State's first attempted corner resulted in a shot by freshman Laura Gebhart that went wide of the net. The second one came with 29:59 remaining in the half, when sophomore Brittany Grzywacz fired a shot that was saved by Virginia's Jenny Johnstone.
Both teams would have a quiet 10 minutes from that point on, until the 18:44 mark, when Penn State would strike first. Purvis netted her first goal of the season, as she showed great hustle to chase down a loose ball and nailed it to the far right corner of the net.
Following the goal, Penn State continued with the pressure, as freshman Taylor Herold shot a ball that was saved by Johnstone at 20:28 into regulation. The Nittany Lions had another opportunity on a penalty corner, when Grzywacz's shot was also saved by Johnstone.
The Lions continued their stellar play into the second half. Virginia had an early scoring opportunity, when Elly Buckley took a shot off a corner, but Halus made the save. Then, 7:33 into the half, Grzywacz fed a ball to Chrismer from the right corner. Chrismer would score to give the Lions a 2-0 lead.
Penn State continued with the pressure, as Chrismer fired another shot that was saved by Johnstone 52:43 in. Nearly a minute later, Allison scored off a penalty corner, which was assisted by Gebhart and senior Casey McCartin to seal a 3-0 win for the Nittany Lions. McCartin came off the bench and was responsible for inserting the ball from the end line.