Nittany Lions hand UW Volleyball defeat

Jill Maier

Conference leader Penn State asserts itself

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The Penn State volleyball team played like it belonged atop the Big Ten, defeating the Badgers 30-24, 30-23 and 30-21 Saturday in Nittany Lion territory. Wisconsin, 11-7 in the Big Ten and 19-10 overall, struggled at nearly every aspect of the game from the start. Wisconsin hit only .099 percent, racked up 33 hitting errors and 47 kills. Penn State, meanwhile, had 47 kills and nine hitting errors, hitting .299 percent.  Penn State (15-3, 26-4) also outblocked Wisconsin (11-5) but the Badgers led in digs, earning 60 digs compared with 47 for the Nittany Lions, including a tie for a career-high 22 for senior defensive specialist/libero Jill Maier.

 

Attack errors plagued the team in the first game, as the Badgers had 10 attack errors and hit .196. Penn State went on a scoring rally, notching eight points to Wisconsin's two, after a 9-9 tie. Senior outside hitter Lisa Zukowski, who had 19 kills throughout the night, helped Wisconsin cut the lead to three points but the Nittany Lions rallied with six points and put the game away at 30-24.

 

In the second game, Wisconsin never caught up to Penn State and struggled in hitting errors, hitting .091 and racking up 11 attack errors. Even a position change could not help the Badgers, after junior outside hitter Marian Weidner stayed in the front row for sophomore outside hitter Aubrey Meierotto and freshman middle blocker Maria Carlini played for junior outside hitter Jill Odenthal.

 

The lineup began to work in the third game, as Wisconsin led 9-7, but lost the lead to hitting errors and the Nittany Lions went up 12-9. Wisconsin rallied and was down by one point, 16-15, but again made hitting errors and Penn State earned another three points, en route to a 30-21 win.

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