Last Updated 11:02 PM, September 30, 2022

Wisconsin takes down Penn State volleyball in three sets

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College volleyball rankings: Latest Power 10 after another chaotic week
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2:32 am, October 1, 2022

WISCONSIN PULLS OFF SWEEP OVER PENN STATE

Wisconsin pulled off a huge sweep over Penn State on Friday night. After two easy wins in the first two sets, Penn State put up a valiant fight in the third set. The Badgers came out on top of the third set thriller, and they did it with Izzy Ashburn behind the service line. Ashburn was huge all evening, with five total aces. Her tough serving is what made the difference in the end — she got a hot PSU team off the net and out of system, giving her offense the best chance possible to terminate the ball. 

Devyn Robinson had a terrific night for Wisconsin with 12 kills on .521 hitting, and Sarah Franklin added 12 kills as well at a .321 clip. Robinson and Danielle Hart both added six blocks apiece, too, and the strong block forced Penn State into a lot of errors and difficult shots. 

Kashauna Williams was huge for Penn State, especially down the stretch in the third. She posted 17 total kills, leading all hitters, and at a .419 clip. Zoe Weatherington and Allie Holland each posted eight kills apiece, too. Penn State really struggled in the first two sets, but turned it around in the third. 

Here is what happened in the third, crazy, set:

The PSU run continued, and the Wisconsin crowd was silenced. The 4-0 run turned into a 6-0 run as PSU took the lead 20-18. Kelly Sheffield called not one but two timeouts in the midst of the run. Jade Demps came out of the second timeout with a big sideout. And the Badgers got just who they wanted behind the service line — Izzy Ashburn. Wisconsin retook the lead 21-20 when PSU called a timeout this time around. Ashburn posted a service ace right out of the timeout, PSU tooled one off the block, then Devyn Robinson sent an absolute bullet across the net to get Wisconsin within two. An Illegal tough by Penn State gave the Badgers set point, but Kaushana William's fifteenth kill of the night extended the match for another point ... then another ... then another. Just like that we were tied at 24-all. PSU continued to feed the ball to Williams, and most of the time, it worked. The set was tied again at 25 then 26, then 27, then 28, then 29. Ashburn notched her FIFTH serve of the match to give Wisconsin yet another match point, then Robinson finally finished it off. 

2:22 am, October 1, 2022

We have a close set 3

Penn State faces a must-win third set, and we have a close one. Both teams are siding out a lot quicker and playing much cleaner. Penn State has amped up its passing and has been able to get a lot more looks on offense. The Badgers have held the lead throughout most of the set, but PSU just went on a 3-0 run to get the score within one. Wisconsin leads 18-17. 

 

2:03 am, October 1, 2022

Wisconsin takes 2-0 lead on the match

The Badgers took a 2-0 lead on the match with ease — with a 25-16 win in set 2. Wisconsin hit .370 and held the Lions to a .036 clip in the second. They also posted four blocks with only four errors to Penn State's nine. Sarah Franklin went from a semi-slow start to a hot outing. She is now up to nine kills at a really efficient .412 clip. She is showing up in this match, seeing the block really well and taking some big time swings. Devyn Robinson is up to six kills on north of .450 hitting and Caroline Crawford is hitting .750. 

Izzy Ashburn's service run gave the Badgers too big of a lead for the Nittany Lions to come back from. A huge kill from Franklin gave the Badgers set point — PSU fought off two, before Franklin sent another bullet across the net to make it official. 

1:48 am, October 1, 2022

Wisconsin off to hot start in set 2

The Badgers are off to a HOT start, hitting .462 while holding Penn State to negative hitting in the second set. Wisconsin's block is coming up big — forcing PSU into some really difficult shots. The Badgers went on a 5-0 service run with Izzy Ashburn behind the service line, yet again, to take a 15-7 lead in the second. 

12:58 am, October 1, 2022

Wisconsin takes first set 25-20

Wisconsin is up 1-0 on the match after a 25-20 win in set 1. Errors were high on both sides of the net, with both the Badgers and Nittany Lions racking up eight attacking errors. Wisconsin just barely outhit PSU .091 to .051. Devyn Robinson led with four kills on .571 hitting. Sarah Franklin followed that up with three kills, and Caroline Crawford currently has two kills on two swings. 

The Badgers went on a 5-0 run with Izzy Ashburn behind the service line to take a 13-9 lead. Another 3-0 run gave them a 17-11 dominating lead in the first set. Penn State chipped away at the deficit with a 4-0 run, but the Badgers were the first to 20 with a Julia Orzol kill. Franklin hammered one down followed by a PSU error to close out the set. 

11:50 pm, September 30, 2022

Penn State vs. Wisconsin, previewed

Penn State Volleyball

This will be a huge meeting for both teams, with each looking for a big-time win. Wisconsin is hanging on to a spot in the top 10 in both the AVCA poll and my Power 10 rankings after getting swept by Minnesota last weekend. With the loss, they now only have a few good wins over Kentucky, Baylor and Marquette to show for, but no top-10 or top-15 wins. Another bad loss could push them out of the top 10, for sure. 

Penn State will be looking for a big win as well. The Nittany Lions dropped in the AVCA rankings to No. 12 after getting swept by Michigan last week. They do, however, have great wins over Stanford and Oregon.

The Badgers have struggled to get their offense in rhythm lately. Sarah Franklin leads the Badgers in kills per set but hasn't been extremely efficient. Wisconsin will likely need to find a way to get their really strong middles in the mix offensively — names like Danielle Hart, Anna Smrek and Caroline Crawford. For Penn State, watch out for Kashauna Williams, who leads the team with 2.93 kills per set. The Nittany Lions struggled with efficiency as well against Michigan, though, hitting just .105 in the loss. 

11:48 pm, September 30, 2022

Current AVCA rankings

Through games: Sept. 25, 2022

RANK

SCHOOL

TOTAL POINTS

RECORD

PREVIOUS

1 Texas (64) 1600 10-0 1
2 Louisville 1531 11-1 2
3 Nebraska 1462 10-1 3
4 San Diego 1358 11-1 4
5 Purdue 1223 11-1 11
6 Ohio State 1184 5-5 7
7 Minnesota 1173 6-4 8
8 Wisconsin 1139 7-3 6
9 Stanford 1099 6-4 5
10 Pittsburgh 1076 11-2 10
11 Georgia Tech 953 9-2 13
12 Penn State 828 12-1 9
13 Baylor 767 11-2 14
14 Florida 730 10-3 12
15 BYU 725 9-3 16
16 Oregon 654 8-2 21
17 Washington 610 10-2 18
18 Kentucky 477 6-5 15
19 Marquette 470 11-1 19
20 Pepperdine 444 9-4 17
21 Creighton 327 10-3 22
22 Rice 263 12-1 23
23 Arkansas 177 10-2 20
24 UCF 147 10-0 25
25 Western Kentucky 132 14-2 24