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Parker Tallies 1,000th Career Kill in Women’s Volleyball’s Sweep of Iowa State

Parker Tallies 1,000th Career Kill in Women's Volleyball's Sweep of Iowa State

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State’s women’s volleyball home opener on Friday night was one to remember. The team welcomed back Olympic gold medalists Micha Hancock and Haleigh Washington, senior Jonni Parker tallied her 1,000th career kill, and fans – 4,346 of them to be exact — packed the seats of Rec Hall for the first time since November of 2019. To top it off, those in attendance were treated to an outstanding performance by the Nittany Lions in a 3-0 (25-18, 25-11, 25-23) win over Iowa State.

The Lions improved to 3-1 on the season, while the Cyclones, who beat LSU 3-1 earlier in the day, dropped to 3-1 with their first loss of the season. The match was a part of the Penn State Classic, which wraps up tomorrow with three more matches at Rec Hall.

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Parker entered the match with 996 kills after an impressive 19-kill performance in a 3-0 win at UCF last weekend. She totaled 12 on .333 hitting against Iowa State to give her 1,008 for her career. She wasted little time in nearing the milestone with kills on three of Penn State’s first four points. The 1,000th kill came off a set by Gabby Blossom to put the Lions up 17-9 in the opening set.

Parker was solid all around in the win, adding eight digs, three blocks and three assists. She led all players from both teams in kills and was second on the Penn State team in digs.

Penn State hit .337 as a team, led by middle blocker Kaitlyn Hord with seven kills on .538 hitting. The senior did even more damage at the net defensively eight blocks, giving her 27 blocks through four matches. She is averaging 2.08 per set, good enough for sixth in the nation.

Adanna Rollins finished with seven kills including one that clinched the match. Penn State trailed by as much as five, 16-11, in the third set but battled back to get the win and save its energy for its two matches on Saturday. The Lions tied the set at 21-21 and again at 22-22 with a kill by Parker. The Cyclones went up 23-22 before the Lions responded with three straight points to close the match. Hord tied it at 23-all with a kill and an Iowa State attack error set the stage for Rollins to end it with a kill.

No comeback was needed in either of the first two sets. Penn State never trailed in either one, leading by as much as 10 at 24-14 in set one, and as much as 14 with the final score of 25-11 in set two.

Penn State’s serving game had Iowa State scrambling in the first set. The Lions had four aces in the set – two by Blossom and one apiece by Jenna Hampton and Allie Holland, plus numerous other serves that resulted in over passes. Two of those over passes were sent back immediately for kills by Holland. She finished with five kills and two blocks.

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Blossom tallied 32 assists, five digs, two blocks and two aces. Hampton came through with a team-high nine digs and added five assists. Erika Pritchard contributed from the front row and back row, contributing seven kills and six digs.

Eleanor Holthaus was easily the top player for Iowa State, finishing with nine kills on .381 hitting, nine digs and four blocks. Penn State held the rest of the lineup in check as the Cyclones hit .128 as a team.

Hancock and Washington were in State College just weeks after helping Team USA win its first ever gold medal in women’s volleyball at the Tokyo Olympics. The former Penn State greats were honored on the court following the second set.

The Lions continue play at the Penn State Classic with a match against Oregon State on Saturday at 11 a.m. The wrap up the event with a match against LSU at 8 p.m. later that night. Their two opponents squared off on Friday, with LSU winning 3-1 to improve to 2-2 on the season.

 

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