2012 NCAA Tournament: No. 1 Lions Blank the Bearcats

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By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - In the 36 years that their program has existed, the top-seeded Nittany Lions have never lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

On Friday night, that trend continued.

Penn State played host to Binghamton in the opening round of the 2012 national tournament in Rec Hall. In front of a crowd of more than 3,500, the Lions swept the Bearcats on .587 hitting. Through three sets, Binghamton scored just 23 total points.

In the second set, sophomore setter Micha Hancock started behind the line for the Lions and served for 21 consecutive points. That run puts her at second-best in NCAA Division I history behind Mercer's Chelsea Gebben, who had 22 straight in 2006.

"I was just in a rhythm," said Hancock. "I was feeling it."

The Lions will continue their march in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night in Rec Hall against Bowling Green at 7:30. The Falcons defeated Yale by a score of 3-2 on Friday night.

Penn State's junior outside hitter Deja McClendon, who tallied 12 kills on .800 hitting, said that starting the playoff run on her home court is always something she looks forward to.

"When tournament starts it's just a whole different vibe in there," said McClendon. "It's amazing. Our fans are just so much a part of our game and I'm extremely proud to play in front of them."

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