Penn State’s Happy Valley left one team happy on Wednesday night, but it wasn’t the Buckeyes.
The No. 19 Ohio State women’s volleyball team was swept 3-0 by the No. 9 Penn State Nittany Lions. OSU’s record sits at 13-8 after the loss. As for Penn State, it increased its win streak to 15 in a row and remain undefeated in conference play.
OSU was able to hang with the Nittany Lions for nearly the entire match, but in the end Penn State edged out wins in each set (25-21, 25-20, 25-17).
Penn State’s offense was anchored by junior middle blocker Haleigh Washington and junior outside hitter Simone Lee. The duo combined for 10 kills against OSU in first set alone.
OSU had an anchor of its own though, and in the second set, it was senior middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe. She went to work trying to chip away at the Nittany-Lion lead. In total, she posted eight of her 15 kills on the night in the second set with help from fellow senior middle blocker Kylie Randall.
Buckeye coach Geoff Carlston pulled his challenge card on three plays in the third set, one of which was overturned in OSU’s favor for a Penn State net violation. However, the team struggled to gain a lead against a Nittany Lion team firing on all cylinders.
Sandbothe led OSU in hitting percentage with .429, followed by sophomore setter Taylor Hughes with .364. Freshman middle blocker Madison Smeathers combined for three blocks.
A positive for OSU came from senior libero Valeria León whose nine digs in the game tied the OSU career digs record set by National Player of Year Stacey Gordon in 2004. She is a lone dig away from claiming the title outright. Without any hitches, she’ll reach this achievement when OSU hosts Michigan State on Saturday.
Saturday’s match against the Michigan State Spartans will be OSU’s breast cancer awareness match.
The first serve is set to take place at 6 p.m. at St. John Arena.