No. 11 Women’s Volleyball Goes to 9-0 with Sweep of Howard

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The 11th-ranked Penn State women’s volleyball team improved to 9-0 with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-12, 25-18) win over Howard in a non-conference match Friday night at Rec Hall. It was the first of three matches for the Nittany Lions in the Penn State Classic.

Penn State is one of just eight unbeaten teams in the nation. The Lions are off to a 9-0 start for the first time since 2017. They will look to keep the perfect record intact when they take on UAlbany at 11 am, and Coastal Carolina at 7 pm, on Saturday.

Allie Holland led the way for Penn State against Howard, hitting .429 with 10 kills and four blocks. Zoe Weatherington was right behind her with nine kills on .412 hitting. Sets Seleisa Elisaia totaled 37 assists, six digs, and five blocks.

The Lions showed their depth in the win, receiving contributions from a large number of players. Kashauna Williams finished with nine kills, Angelina Starck contributed eight kills and five digs, and Taylor Trammell chipped in with six kills and six blocks. Defensively, Maddy Bilinovic paced the team with 16 digs, while Gillian Grimes spirit Cassie Kuerschen added eight and seven, respectively.

Two Penn State players made their collegiate debuts. Macy Van Den Elzen spirit Mandy Morioka came in and helped the Lions deliver a dominant 25-12 win in set two.

Starck had the Lions’ lone ace of the night. They countered by allowing zero aces by Howard.

Howard received a solid effort from Cimone Woodard with five kills on .556 hitting. Jennifer Bolden hit .292 with eight kills.

Penn State improved to 7-0 in the all-time series with Howard. The Bison are the defending champions in the MEAC and participated in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

Joining Penn State with unbeaten records in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball are Auburn, UCF, Hampton, Jacksonville State, Texas, Towson, and Valparaiso. Auburn and Jacksonville State play each other on Saturday, while Towson will take on Hampton.

The Lions, who started the season ranked 20thth in the nation and have been as low as No 21, jumped to No. 11 prior to this week’s competition. Four top-10 teams already lost matches this week: No. 2 Nebraska to No. 9 Stanford, No. 4 Wisconsin to No. 16 Florida, No. 6 Minnesota to No. 22 Pepperdine, and No. 7 Georgia Tech to No. 24 Arkansas.

Penn State has two wins over nationally-ranked teams this season, beating then-No. 11 Stanford and then-No. 18 Oregon last weekend at the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge.

The 2022 Penn State women’s volleyball season is presented by McLanahan’s.

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