As luck would have it, I arrived a bit late on the beautiful Yale campus and by the time I arrived Penn State Nittany Lions had already pulled out to a two game lead over the Delaware State Hornets. However it was still great to see a ranked team in action, or any team for that matter, but its fun to see the teams that aren’t often in the region.
Penn State pulled out to 3 point lead on a Delaware State’s two hit error, Arielle Wilson and Blair Brown’s block, and Delaware State spiking it out of bounds. Delaware State would pick up a pair of points when PSU hit a spike into the net, and had a 2 hit error of their own. Megan Hodge’s block brought the Nittany Lions their fifth point but Delaware State’s Erica Tajchman knocked a ball over that the defense couldn’t handle and a Hornet serve on the next play bounced off the D for an Ace. It was now 5-4.
Brown spiked a kill in off the Hornet defenders to put PSU back on the board, and a block at the net brought on another point for the blue and white. Delaware State would knock a return out of bounds and Christa Harmotto would knock a light hit in for a point as well to make it 9-4. The run was paused by a time out, though once play resumed Harmotto tapped in another attack for a 10-4 Nittany Lion lead. Another PSU block would bring the score to 11-4.
Delaware State would get on the board when Marissa Brady knocked a ball over to the corner and Penn State didn’t get the return. Her teammate Sarah Wheatcroft followed it up with an attack that the defense hit out of bounds. With the score 11-6, Brown had a huge spike untouched to DSU’s floor to gain her team the ball and a point. Alisha Glass would pick up a point for as well when she hit a ball in. With the score at 13-6, and following a battle at the net, Delaware State won the point to make it 13-7.
Penn State’s Megan Hodge put an end to that when she smashed a ball over the net, that the Hornets could only manage to knock onto the scorer’s table. They would pick up an additional point before hitting into the net. A second Delaware point would bring the contest to 15-9. A third point would come their way when Cassandra Joyner attacked and the Nittany Lions couldn’t return it. PSU would have a big block though on the next rally and it was 16-10. The Hornets smashed a spike to the corner to pick up their eleventh point. Penn State’s Wilson responded by tapping an attack into a gap in the defense for their seventh point. Another point would follow, and they went up to 19-11 on a Blair Brown untouched spike to the corner. The run came to an end when PSU hit it out of bounds at 19-12.
Penn State came right back with Wilson hitting it in and the hornets knocking the return to the floor. Alyssa D’Errico then served a ball over that DSU knocked behind them and then out of bounds as they attempted to return. Hodge’s attack was passed around by the Hornet’s but not returned, and Hodge hit a spike kill from PSU’s left to DSU’s left corner to make it 23-12 and bring about a time out.
The Nittany Lions came out of the time out with a block to pick up their next point, but the hornets returned fire. Kinga Muszynski knocked a ball over, and despite PSU’s Roberta Holehouse’s diving save to keep the ball in play, Delaware State picked up the point. An additional error from Penn State lead to the score being 24-14.
Penn State responded with a spike for a 25-14 lead. Delaware State for their part didn’t give up and on the next rally returned big Penn State spikes three times including a block that gained them a point. Hodge responded with a spike to a gap and a score of 26-15. DSU would hit a return over and out of bounds on the next play, and Kelsey Ream would smash a ball to the gap untouched to pick up the twenty-eighth point for PSU. The Hornets’ Ayana Dyette fought back with a spike of her own knocked off the defense and the next rally was big with each side getting in some blocks before Laura Huculak hit a ball into a gap. Hodge put an end to the comeback with a huge kill to the corner, and PSU blocked an attack to win their thirtieth point, the game and the match.
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