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Aug. 25, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The No. 3 Penn State women's volleyball team (3-0) finished its first weekend of the 2012 season with an unblemished record after sweeping Louisville, 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-18). Junior Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) was named the Active Ankle Challenge MVP.
Scott led the Lions with 13 kills, while McClendon posted 11 on .476 hitting. Both Slay and junior Maddie Martin (Tampa, Fla.) posted eight kills apiece. Sophomore Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) recorded 37 assists and had a match-high three aces. Slay put up a match-best six blocks and Scott registered four.
Penn State hit .436 against the Cardinals and totaled 49 kills, six aces, 43 digs and 8.0 total team blocks. The Cardinals finished the match hitting. 190 with 38 kills, one ace, 35 digs and 3.0 team blocks.
With the score tied at 2-2 in set one, a 4-0 Nittany Lion run had Penn State ahead by four, 6-2. The Cardinals crept to within one, 7-6, but kills by Scott and McClendon and a Hancock ace had the Lions back ahead by four, 10-6. Penn State continued to maintain at least a one-point lead through the middle part of the set. With Penn State leading 19-16, Louisville called a timeout. However, the Nittany Lions posted two kills and a block to take a 22-18 lead. The Cardinals used a second timeout, but managed only two additional points before Slay pounded a kill for a 25-20 win.
Penn State leapt out to a 6-1 lead in the second frame to force the Cardinals to call an early timeout. Louisville answered with a 5-1 run, but Penn State stayed on top, 7-6. A kill by Slay and an ace from Carpenter helped Penn State push its lead to four, 10-6. Back-to-back Louisville kills had the Cardinals within two, 10-8, but four straight Penn State points had the Lions leading 14-8 and Louisville heading to the bench. Louisville managed to fight to within three, 18-15, but a 5-1 run by Penn State had the Lions leading 23-16. Slay and Scott teamed up for two blocks during the run. Louisville tallied one final kill before Martin closed out the set with a kill, 25-17.
Two kills from Scott and two from Grant helped Penn State to a 4-1 start in the third set. The Cardinals moved to within two, 8-6, but a short 3-0 Nittany Lion run had Penn State leading by five, 11-6, and Louisville taking a break. Louisville pounded a kill after the timeout, but a 5-1 Penn State run, including two aces from Hancock, had the Cardinals using their second timeout. The Nittany Lions had a 16-8 advantage. Penn State's dominance continued as the Nittany Lion lead grew to nine, 21-12, thanks to two kills and a block from Slay. The two squads traded points until a 3-0 Louisville run had Penn State using a timeout with the score at 24-18. Scott closed out the set with a kill for a 25-18 win.
Penn State opens its home slate next weekend on Aug. 31-Sept. 1 at Rec Hall. Florida takes on Texas at 4:30 p.m. and Penn State faces Stanford at 8 p.m.
For more information on the Penn State women's volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State women's volleyball 2012 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets.
Penn State women's volleyball is on Twitter. Follow @PennStateVBALL. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatewomensvolleyball.