Michigan Upsets No. 9 Penn State, Downs Nittany Lion in Straight Sets

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» Michigan swept No. 9-ranked Penn State in straight sets for the first time in program history.

» The Wolverines’ last win over a top-10 ranked opponent came during the 2018 season, when U-M beat fifth-ranked Wisconsin.

» Jess Mruzik led all players with 14 kills.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — The University of Michigan volleyball team dominated ninth-ranked Penn State in straight sets (25-19, 25-17, 25-19) on Saturday (Sept. 24) inside the Nittany Lions’ Rec Hall. The victory marked the first straight-set win over Penn State in Michigan’s history.

Michigan (11-1, 2-0 Big Ten) grabbed its second-ever win over Penn State in State College, with the victory marking just the sixth win for the Wolverines in the series (60 meetings). The Wolverines’ last win over a top-10 ranked opponent came during the 2018 season, when U-M beat fifth-ranked Wisconsin.

The Wolverines got off to a slow start, falling behind in the first set before coming back to tie the score at 13 on a kill from Kendall Murray. PSU responded with a kill to regain a one-point lead, but a slam from Jess Mruzik down the line tied the score once more before a kill from Jacque Boney gave U-M its first lead of the set. Michigan’s blocking and attacking units were firing on all cylinders to close out the first set, which Michigan took, 25-19. 

Penn State (12-1, 1-1 Big Ten) jumped out to a 5-2 lead to start the second set but Michigan punched right back wtih a 7-0 run that featured three aces from May Pertofsky for a 9-5 Wolverine lead. It was all Maize and Blue from there behind a balanced offensive attack, with Murray, Mruzik and Boney each recording three kills in a 25-17 win for a 2-0 lead in the match.

Michigan won four of the first five points of the final set, grabbing a 4-1 lead behind a block from Boney and Mruzik. After Penn State won the ensuing point to get within two points at 4-2, Michigan countered with a 6-1 run for a 10-4 lead on a Scottee Johnson kill. Michigan’s lead grew to as many as eight points in the set as the Wolverines wrapped up the sweep with a 25-19 win.

Mruzik led all players with 14 kills while Boney totaled nine on the night while hitting at a .300 clip. Pertofsky added eight kills and was a force at the service line as she recorded a match-high four service aces. 

Hannah Grant led the Wolverines’ defensive effort with 11 digs and the Wolverine front line combined for 10.5 blocks, six of which came from Boney. Johnson led the Wolverines with 22 assists and Maddie Dowd chipped in 15. 

Michigan will return to action on Wednesday night (Sept. 28) when the Wolverines host Ohio State at Crisler Center for a Maize Out. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. and the match will air live on FS1.


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