Penn State women’s volleyball swept Syracuse 3-0 (25-13, 25-20, 25-16) Saturday night at Rec Hall to advance to the Sweet 16.
The Nittany Lions now own a 100-30 all-time record in NCAA tournament play. Only Stanford and Nebraska have more wins, and Penn State coach Russ Rose is the first coach to reach the century mark in NCAA tournament victories.
How It Happened
Tori Gorrell turned in another strong performance in her second straight start at middle blocker. She had a season-high 11 kills and added four blocks in freshman Serena Gray’s absence. Gray also missed Penn State’s sweep of Howard Friday.
The Nittany Lions opened up an early 4-0 lead over the Orange to start the match and never trailed the rest of the first set. Syracuse started to figure things out in the second frame, but Penn State rallied from a 16-10 deficit to take a 2-0 advantage. Bryanna Weiskircher’s service ace — the first for either team — closed out the comeback.
Junior libero Kendall White continued her outstanding play with a match-high 14 digs in the victory. She’s now just seven digs away from becoming the fourth player in program history to reach 1,500 for her career. Nia Reed, Jonni Parker, and Taylor Leath all joined Gorrell with double-digit kills.
“She wants the spot permanently and she’s going to come out and she’s going to play her hardest,” White said of Gorrell. “That’s what we do here. I think we push each other and I love that. Her pushing our other middles makes them better and makes us better.”
Kendall White makes a full-extension save against Syracuse.
Player of the Match
Tori Gorrell | Middle blocker
The Oakville, Ontario, native couldn’t have asked for a better showing when her number was called. She hit .500 against the Orange.
The Nittany Lions (25-7) will face the Washington Huskies in Stanford, California, should the Cardinal prevail as expected.