Nov. 12, 2011
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
Score: Northwestern #, Penn State #
Records: NU (15-12, 6-10 Big Ten), No. 9 Penn State (19-7, 12-4 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Friday, Nov. 18 -- at No. 24 Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.), 6 p.m. CT
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Looking to build on Friday's upset over No. 22 Ohio State, the Northwestern Wildcats came up short against a second straight ranked foe, No. 9 Penn State on Saturday, 3-0 (19-25, 14-25, 17-25) at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Ill.
The Nittany Lions showed early and often why they are the four-time defending national champions. Offensively, Penn State attacked at a clip of .346 in the match while committing just 10 hitting errors. On defense, the visitors controlled the net by collecting 12 blocks to Northwestern's five.
In the first set, the Nittany Lions grabbed the lead and never looked back, leading by as many as six points at various junctures in the frame. Stephanie Holthus (Burlingtom, Ill./Central) led the attack for the 'Cats in the first set as she racked up a team-high five kills.
The second set featured more of the same as Penn State would not trail. NU struggled on the attack in the second set as they totaled only seven kills, while committing five errors. Holthus accounted for three of those terminations, while Julie Chin (Naperville, Ill./North) boasted a team-best five digs in the set.
Northwestern grabbed its first lead of the match to open the third set, but unfortunately it was short-lived. After leading 1-0 then 2-1 following a kill by Kathryn Chrystal (Crystal Lake, Ill.). They lead was extended to 4-2 after an ace from Friday night's hero, Caroline Niedospial (Chicago, Ill./Marist). Penn State scored the next four points, however, to secure the lead for good.
Holthus led the Wildcats with 12 kills in the contest, while Yewande Akanbi
(Houston, Texas/Dawson) tallied seven. Chin led all players with a match-best 14 digs.
Northwestern will begin its final road trip of the season on Friday, Nov. 18 when it travels to Ann Arbor, Mich. for a showdown with the No. 24 Michigan Wolverines. The two-match swing through the state continues Saturday with a matchup against Michigan State. The trip concludes with the regular season's final road match on Wednesday, Nov. 23 against. No. 7 Illinois.
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