CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The No. 3 Penn State women's volleyball took down fourth-ranked Stanford, 3-2; 24-26, 25-22, 23-25, 25-17, 15-11, in a battle of a match in Huff Hall to close out the 2017 Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge on Saturday evening.
Senior Simone Lee started the match slow, only tallying 11 kills through the first three sets, but she came on strong, finishing with a match-high 21 to help Penn State to victory.
Fellow outside Ali Frantti finished the evening with a season-high 20 kills on a clip of .310.
As a team, the Nittany Lions tallied 20 blocks, the second most in program history for a 25-point five set match. Haleigh Washington was the key cog to that number as the middle blocker led the team with 10 blocks, while adding 11 kills for the double-double.
Bryanna Weiskircher also added a double-double as she tallied 29 assists and scooped up 12 digs.
Final - #3 PSU, 3-2, over #4 Stanford!— PennStateVolleyball (@PennStateVBALL) September 10, 2017
Lee with 21k, 8d.
Frantti with 20k, .310,
Washington with 11k, 10b pic.twitter.com/sqBmoyTYwA
Kendall White led all players with 22 digs.
The first set foreshadowed the whole match, proving it would be a battle between two of the top teams as it went 26-24 in favor in of the Cardinal. The Nittany Lions committed five service errors and the proved to be the difference as PSU tallied three more kills than Stanford and out-blocked them, 5.0-3.0.
Frantti continued her hot play from the night prior as she went off in the second set for eight kills to help the Nittany Lions take the second set, 25-22. Penn State tallied five blocks in the set, while Stanford did not register a single stop at the net.
Out of the break, the third set mimicked the opener. Stanford jumped out to an early lead but the Nittany Lions countered and pulled it even at 14. From there, the set yo-yoed back and forth until the Cardinal grabbed a three-point lead at 21-18, forcing Penn State to take its second timeout. Again, the Nittany Lions battled back, and Stanford needed to call a timeout, with Stanford leading 24-23. The timeout proved to be worthy as Stanford earned the set point, giving it a 2-0 advantage.
In the fourth set, the Nittany Lions handled Stanford, holding them to .074 hitting, and just nine kills and the countered with 15 kills of their own and six blocks.
In the deciding set, Penn State jumped out to an 8-5 lead, forcing Stanford to call a timeout on the switch. The Cardinal tied the set at eight, but Penn State took home the set and the match.
Penn State returns home on Friday, Sept. 14 for the Penn State Classic as it hosts Yale at 7:30 p.m. ET.