The No. 8 seed Penn State women’s volleyball team fell to the No. 1 seed Stanford, 3-1: 18-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-16, to end the Nittany Lions season at 26-8 late Saturday in the NCAA Stanford Regional Final in Maples Pavilion. Kendall White and Jonni Parker were named to the Stanford Regional All-Tournament Team for their performance over the weekend.
The Nittany Lions came out firing in the first set, building a house with 6 team blocks, and holding the Cardinal to just .176 hitting. Nia Reed put down five kills in the opening set, and White added five digs.
From the first serve, the Nittany Lions were clicking. They hit .310 with 12 kills, and were able to disrupt the Stanford offense with two aces. In the second set, Penn State jumped out to an early lead, but the Cardinal were able to get the set within one point at 20-19, forcing coach Russ Rose to use a timeout.
Out of the break, the Cardinal would miss the serve, again inflating the gap to two. From there, the two powerhouses would battle. Stanford would take their first lead of the match at 23-22, and again, the Blue & White would call a timeout. The Cardinal would go on to use the advantage to take the set, 25-23, and even the match at 1-1.
Stanford used their second set win momentum to open with 10-5 lead, forcing a PSU timeout. Tori Gorrell would go on a service run to pressure the home offense, closing the gap to 10-8. However, Stanford would go on four- and five-point runs throughout the set to maintain a lead, with Penn State only able to get within four points at the closest point, despite closing the set on an 8-5 run. Stanford jumped out to a 2-1 set lead with the 25-20 win.
In the fourth set, Penn State was unable to find an offensive rhythm, as they hit just .069. Stanford was able to maintain their lead from the opening serve to take the set and the match with a 25-16 win. Offensively, Penn State saw three players put down double-figure kills with Reed at 12 with four blocks, Parker at 11, hitting .226, adding eight digs and two blocks, and Taylor Leath finished with 10 kills, eight digs, and a block.
Penn State also got eight kills and a .389 hitting percentage from Kaitlyn Hord, who was also the leading blocker for the Nittany Lions as she finished the match with six. Gorrell added six kills in the middles and two aces. Bryanna Weiskircher finished the match with 42 assists, eight digs and three blocks. White finished the match 11 digs and two assists.