No. 3 Penn State W. Volleyball (13-1, 3-1) took no prisoners this weekend as the lady Lions hosted Illinois and Northwestern in Happy Valley.
On Friday, the Lions hosted Illinois, securing the win in three sets: 25-19, 25-17, 26-24.
Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Colo.) led the team with 11 kills, the first time she has led the team in kills yet this season. Simone Lee (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) added 10 kills and four digs for the night.
Quiet yet stealthy senior middle blocker Heidi Thelen (Edgewood, Ky.) helped clinch the victory with six blocks and two solo blocks, preventing the Fighting Illini from securing the match point in the final set.
Head Coach Russ Rose, who has led the team to so many victories already this season, noted that Thelen was a difference-maker against the Fighting Illini.
“[Heidi] was our leading blocker tonight and that’s why she’s in there,” Rose said. “Last week they were scoring at will over that position and then we put her in and I think she’s done a nice job there.”
Statistically, Penn State and Illinois were very evenly matched, with the Lions recording 42 kills to the Illini’s 41, 30 digs to the opponent’s 32 and 7.0 blocks to the competitor’s 9.0
On Saturday, the Lions faced Big Ten foe Northwestern, but took down the team in just three sets.
Despite a close 26-24 first set, Penn State figured out Northwestern’s style and promptly defeated the opponent 25-14 for the remaining two sets.
As usual, Lee stood out thanks to her dominant play. Lee logged 12 kills and four digs for the team. Teammate Washington was right behind Lee with 10 kills on a .474 hitting percentage.
Kendall White (Indianapolis, Ind.) continued her tradition of excellence with a team-high 13 digs for the night.
No. 3 Penn State returns to the court next weekend in Columbus to take on often-difficult Ohio State and Maryland. Good luck, ladies!