The Iowa women’s volleyball came into Wednesday’s game against Penn State looking to snap a five game losing streak. However, with the nation’s No. 1 team walking into Carver-Hawkeye Arena, a team riding a 15-game winning streak, this would not be the night. The Hawkeyes fell to Penn State 25-15, 25-19, 25-15.
In the first set, the Lions came out roaring behind an efficient offensive attack. The Nittany Lions had 13 kills and just one unforced error in 24 attempts. On the other side of the court, the Hawkeyes only converted .088% of their attempts. The Lions led just 9-7 early in the set, but claimed 16 of the next 24 points to win the set.
However, Iowa refused to lay down for the top-ranked Lions. In a back-and-forth second set, the Hawkeyes grabbed a 13-9 lead to force a timeout from the Blue and White. Great plays from Bethany Yeager had given the Hawkeyes momentum in the set, but the Nittany Lions refused to go away. A 6-1 run allowed the Lions to retake the lead, and Penn State hung on for a 25-19 win and a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Hawkeyes again took an early lead in the third set, leading 9-7. But the talent of Penn State took over as the Lions scored 18 of the game’s final 24 points, keyed by a spectacular play from setter Micha Hancock that caught the Hawkeye defense off guard. The Lions would claim the third set 25-15 for a 3-0 match win.
Penn State outside hitter Deja McClendon led all players with 11 kills and 12 digs. Rachael Bedell led the Hawkeyes with 8 kills, while Nikki Dailey led Iowa with 26 assists and nine digs. The loss extends the Iowa losing streak to six, and dropped the team’s record to 10-14, with a 2-9 mark in Big Ten play. Penn State moves to 21-1, 11-0 in the Big Ten . Next game for the Hawkeyes is Saturday against Ohio State.