July 23, 2019 | 73° F

Rutgers downed in Senior Night affair against No. 1 Penn State

Knights lose 18th consecutive Big Ten match to remain winless in conference

Photo by Casey Ambrosio |

The Rutgers volleyball team celebrated its Senior Night this past weekend at the College Avenue Gymnasium on Saturday evening to recognize seniors Meme Fletcher and Talia Holze. The Scarlet Knights (5-25, 0-18) struggled to score points against No. 1 Penn State (27-1, 17-1) as the Nittany Lions dominated the match in straight-set scores of 25-5, 25-9 and 25-9.

With a .537 attack percentage along with 40 kills, six aces and eight blocks, Rutgers failed to come anywhere close to Penn State, logging a negative-.082 clip with 15 kills, two aces and two blocks. 

The Knights were able to win the first 3 points of the second set, as freshman outside hitter Yana Kamshilina caused havoc to the Nittany Lions by recording a kill alongside back-to-back service aces.

The first set marked Penn State’s longest run of the match with a 15-1 lead over Rutgers. The Knights were held back by the Nittany Lions’ strong defensive line and could only score one point at a time.

Rutgers was not discouraged by the first set and bounced back with Kamshilina’s 3 consecutive points for the Knights to take the early lead. Two kills by junior outside hitter Sahbria McLetchie kept the score locked at 6-6 before Penn State unleashed a 11-0 run to take back the significant lead it had from the first set. 

After Rutgers took two more consecutive points with a kill from sophomore middle blocker Stasa Miljevic and an attack error, the Nittany Lions finished off the set throwing down a 9-1 run.

In the third set, Penn State launched yet another long run to take the last early lead at 11-1. The Knights were able to rattle off a 3-0 spurt with kills by McLetchie and setter Holze before the Nittany Lions closed out the match.

McLetchie led both Rutgers’ offensive and defensive department with 7 kills and seven digs. 

Sophomore libero Karysa Swackenberg also logged seven digs to take the top spot on the team in digs for the 19th time this season, followed by Miljevic with four digs. 

Kamshilina threw down 3 kills and back-to-back aces to take a strong hold on the second set. 

For the third consecutive match, Holze logged the highest number of assists with 11 in addition to two digs and 2 kills on a .500 attack clip.

The Knights will hit the road for the last time this season to face off against Minnesota on Friday and Wisconsin on Saturday. Both teams are currently ranked in the top 12 of the latest AVCA coaches poll and top 13 in the NCAA RPI. 

For updates on the Rutgers volleyball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

Alexandra Fabugais-Inaba

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