Rutgers treks to University Park to contest No. 1 Penn State
University Park, Pennsylvania will be the next stop for the Rutgers volleyball team as it will face No. 1 Penn State on Saturday evening.University Park, Pennsylvania will be the next stop for the Rutgers volleyball team as it will face No. 1 Penn State on Saturday evening. With the Scarlet Knights sitting in the last position in the conference and Penn State standing at the top, Rutgers will need to be at the top of its game to get at least a couple of points during each set of the match.
Last time out, the Knights went head to head with Michigan in Ann Arbor on Wednesday evening. Rutgers failed to secure another set win against Michigan like it did the first time it faced the Big Ten opponent many weeks ago. The Wolverines took the match by set scores of 25-15, 25-19 and 25-14.
Highlighting the night was a 10-1 run for the Knights in the second set to take a 15-11 lead ahead of Michigan. Despite Rutgers’ lead, the Wolverines returned the attack with a 7-1 stint and followed that with a 4-0 spurt to win set two
The Knights were led by sophomore middle blocker Jasmine Stackhouse’s .267 attack clip with a Big Ten season high of 7 kills. Junior outside hitter Sahbria McLetchie, sophomore middle blocker Stasa Miljevic and freshman outside hitter Yana Kamshilina all followed behind Stackhouse with 6 kills each. Freshman opposite hitter Beka Kojadinovic served up a notable performance with two consecutive aces to tie the score, 8-8, in set three.
Penn State (21-1, 11-1) has had a stellar season so far, ranking first in the country for several weeks. The Nittany Lions have been the top-ranked team in the AVCA coaches poll and NCAA RPI for the past three weeks. Currently leading the conference with a .350 team hitting percentage, Penn State also places second in team blocks with an average of 2.87 per set. Additionally, the Nittany Lions are positioned third in assists and kills, averaging 13.29 and 14.23 a set, respectively.
This week Penn State’s Haleigh Washington and Kendall White were named player and defensive player of the week. This is Washington’s fourth player of the week award as she posted a .548 hitting percentage, averaging 3.4 kills and 2.1 blocks per set at games against No. 9 Wisconsin and Illinois. She leads the Big Ten with a .519 attack percentage, coupled with a second-place ranking for blocks, averaging 1.48 per set. White’s second defensive player of the week award was earned from averaging 4.9 digs a set with a match-best 21 against Wisconsin, coupled with 13 digs and 12 error-free reception attempts while playing Illinois.
The Penn State match will be by far Rutgers’ most difficult match to capture as many points as it can get in the Nittany Lions’ home court on Saturday.
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