CORALVILLE, Iowa — The University of Iowa volleyball team fell to No. 13 Penn State, 3-0, inside Xtream Arena on Friday night.
The Hawkeyes were led by redshirt senior Delaney McSweeney with six kills and a clip of .500. Redshirt freshman Nataly Moravec also posted six kills and added nine digs to her stat line. Redshirt sophomore Sydney Dennis also had nine digs on the night. Senior setter Bailey Ortega registered 17 assists and tallied a career-best three service aces.
HOW IT HAPPENED
SET 1 (Penn St., 25-14): The Hawkeyes started the match on top, 3-1, after a Nittany Lion service error, a McSweeney kill assisted by Ortega, and a Penn State blocking error. The visitors went on a long run with Iowa points sprinkled in from senior Audrey Black and Moravec. With the Hawkeyes down by eight, they started to get their footing, posting kills by Moravec, McSweeney, redshirt junior Anna Davis, and fifth year Caitlan Buettner, a block by Black and Davis, and aces from Ortega and Dennis. Iowa fought but was unable to catch Penn State as it took the set.
SET 2 (Penn St., 25-18): Penn State took the first point of the set, but Buettner responded to tie at one. The Nittany Lions continued to set the pace of the match, but the Hawkeyes weren’t willing to give up. Iowa went on a four-point run, shortening the spread to four with kills from McSweeney and Moravec. The teams exchanged sets of three points with Penn State up, 13-10. The Hawkeyes scored six-consecutive points off a kill from Moravec, three forced errors and two aces from Black to bring the score within two, but the Nittany Lions responded and won second set.
SET 3 (Penn St., 25-14): Penn State continued its momentum into the third set. Iowa kept it close early with kills from Moravec, McSweeney, and Davis before the Nittany Lions pulled ahead. Halfway through the set, the Hawkeyes capitalized on errors and Ortega posted back-to-back service aces, but Penn State maintained its lead, 16-9. McSweeney, Buettner, freshman Gabby Deery, and Davis each posted kills before Penn State claimed the set and match.
Iowa hosts Michigan State on Saturday inside Xtream Arena in Coralville, Iowa, at 6 p.m. (CT). The match will be live streamed on B1G+ (subscription required).