11/25/2022 | 7:00 PM
Nov 25 (Fri) / 7:00 PM
EVANSTON, Ill.— No. 11 Penn State shook off a tough night offensively to post its sixth win in seven matches, defeating Northwestern 3-1 (25-23, 9-25, 25-19, 25-23) in a Big Ten women’s volleyball match Wednesday night at Welsh Ryan Arena.
The Nittany Lions improved to 23-7 overall and 12-7 in the Big Ten with one match remaining in the regular season. The Wildcats dropped to 17-14 overall and 6-13 in the conference.
Penn State hit just .099 in the match but prevailed with a defensive effort that included nine blocks and 62 digs while holding Northwestern to hit .174. The Wildcats hit .429 in the second set but just .103 in the other three sets.
Seleisa Elisaia finished with 30 assists and 14 digs to record her 11th double-double of the season for Penn State. Cassie Kuerschen also had 14 digs to share the team lead with Elisaia, while Maddy Bilinovic had 13 and Anjelina Starck contributed nine.
Penn State was strong in the middle, including Katie Clark with six kills on .462 hitting and five blocks. Allie Holland was second on the team with eight kills and added three blocks. Zoe Weatherington matched Clark with five blocks from her position on the outside.
Kashauna Williams led Penn State in kills with 16, hitting double-digits for the 19th time this season. She totaled 13 kills over the final two sets to help the Lions pull away, including eight on .375 hitting in set three.
Temi Thomas-Ailara did most of the damage for Northwestern, registering a double-double with 22 kills and 17 digs while adding five blocks. Alexa Rousseau also had a double-double with 42 assists and 12 digs.
Penn State won its ninth-straight match in the series with Northwestern, improving to 56-9 all-time against the Wildcats.
The Lions have one more chance to boost their resume heading into the NCAA Tournament. They host no. 19 Purdue for the regular season finale on Friday at 7 pm Clark, Elisaia, Anastasiya Kudryashova, and Williams will be honored for Senior Day following the match.
Purdue upped its record to 20-9 overall and 11-8 in the Big Ten with a 3-1 win over Maryland on Wednesday. Penn State won the first meeting between the teams this season 3-1 behind 22 kills on .381 hitting by Williams.