Pritchard’s season high 18 kills take Penn State past Michigan
in the state of Michigan
11/13/2021 | 8:00 pm
ANN ARBOR, me. – Penn State Women’s # 15 volleyball held with a 3-1 win (26-24, 23-25, 25-19, 25-22) in Michigan Friday night at Cliff Keen Arena near the top of the Big- Ten-scoring step. Erika Pritchard scored a total of 18 kills in the season and Jenna Hampton hit a career high with 27 digs to help the Nittany Lions improve to 18-7 overall and 11-4 in conference.
Penn State ranks fourth in the Big Ten with Purdue, just one loss behind Wisconsin, Nebraska and Minnesota, who are in a three-way battle for first place with five games remaining in the regular season.
Pritchard’s last kill was the decisive factor for the Lions. She hit 0.368, adding seven digs, two aces, and one block. She had no offense error in the first three sets and reached .542 with 13 kills during this distance.
Adanna Rollins double-doubled with 14 kills and 12 digs. These numbers are notable for the Senior Outside Hitter as they entered the match and took 15 kills and 13 digs to hit 1,000 in both categories for their career. She leaves Ann Arbor with 999 career kills and 999 career digs.
Penn State struggled to close for the first two sets. The Lions led 21:14 in the first set after a Gabby Blossom kill before Michigan stormed back to tie it 23:23. Anjelina Starck broke the tie with a kill. Michigan tied the score again, but Pritchard gave the Lions a shot at setpoint with a kill and the set ended with a Michigan attack error.
Penn State will want to forget the second set as he prepares for his next game. The Lions again held a large lead and rose 21:13 due to a serve error in Michigan. The Wolverines went on an 8-0 run to tie it at 21. Kaitlyn Hord ended the run with a kill for the Lions, but Michigan responded with the next two points and took the lead. After a kill by Jonni Parker, who split the score 23:23, the Wolverines won the set with a kill and an ace, both by May Pertofsky.
This change in momentum did not hold Penn State by the wayside for long. The Lions pulled away late in a tight third set, breaking an 18-18 tie with a 5-0 run topped by consecutive aces from Pritchard, and winning by six. They took the lead 3-2 in the fourth set and never stayed behind. They performed with up to six, 22-16. The Wolverines fought their way back to two at 24-22 before Pritchard ended the match with a kill.
Penn State hit .291 in the match behind 55 assists from Gabby Blossom, who also added seven digs
Senior libero Jenna Hampton continued to excel in conference play. Her 27 digs are the program’s third most in a four-set game during the 25-point rally scoring era (2008-present). She has dwarfed 20 digs in eight of their last 13 games. She tops all Big Ten players in trenches / sets in conference play, averaging 4.83. That is significantly better than the second-placed Libero with an average of 4.65.
Penn State held Michigan at 0.203 punches. Starck contributed to this defensive achievement with nine excavations. The Lions had nine blocks in play, led by Hord with seven and Parker with four.
As usual, the Penn State Middles were efficient. Hord hit .417 with 12 kills, while Allie Holland had eight kills and no bugs on the .571.
Michigan was led by Jess Mruzik with 14 kills and 12 excavations. Paige Jones also had a double-double with 13 kills and 12 digs.
Penn State will remain in Michigan and will travel to East Lansing on Saturday to face Michigan State. The game is scheduled for 8 p.m. and will be streamed on B1G +.