No. 1 Penn State Sweeps North Carolina in Season Opener
Aug. 27, 2010
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The three-time defending National Champions and No. 1 Penn State women's volleyball opened the 2010 season with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-16) defeat of the University of North Carolina. Penn State's record-breaking winning streak is now at 103 consecutive matches.
Senior Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) led the Nittany Lions with nine kills and also tallied 11 digs. Freshman Deja McClendon (Ridgewood, N.J.) had eight kills and senior Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) added seven. Wilson contributed a team-best seven blocks, while senior Fatima Balza (Merida, Venezuela) and McCledon put up six apiece. Sophomore Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) dished out 23 assists, had six digs and four blocks. Senior libero Alyssa D'Errico (Byron, N.Y.) led the Lions with 19 digs.
Penn State registered a .185 attack percentage, while posting 36 kills, 33 assists, three aces and 15.0 total team blocks. UNC finished the match with a .016 attack percentage and totaled 32 kills, 31 assists, three aces, 51 digs and 5.5 total team blocks.
McClendon opened the match with her first career kill as a Nittany Lion to put the PSU on the board first, 1-0. Two blocks by McClendon and a Wilson kill had Penn State leading, 4-2, but UNC used back-to-back kills to tie the set at 4-4. The score tied again at 5-5 before a 6-2 Penn State run gave the Lions a 11-7 advantage. D'Errico had an ace and Balza, sophomore Katie Kabbes (Raleigh, N.C.) and freshman Mikinzie Moydell (Parker, Colo.) all contributed kills in the run. After a Tar Heel timeout, UNC used a 7-1 run to take a 14-12 lead. A Wilson kill and a joint block by Wilson and Carpenter had the score tied at 15-15 and the Nittany Lions regained the lead courtesy of two attack errors by the Tar Heels. A 4-1 Penn State run, with two kills from Balza, put the Lions up by three, 19-16. The lead was shortlived as UNC tallied the next three points to knot the score at 19-19. A Penn State timeout shut down the Tar Heels and the Nittany Lions closed out the set with the six straight points for a 25-19 win. Brown put down four kills and teamed up with McClendon and Balza for a triple-block in the scoring run.
The Nittany Lions took an early 7-3 lead in set two forcing a Tar Heel timeout. Penn State increased its lead to seven, 10-3, after two Wilson kills and a UNC error. North Carolina fought back to within three, 13-10, but two consecutive kills by Brown and Penn State block had the Lions ahead by six, 16-10. Penn State's lead grew to eight, 19-11, thanks to a McClendon putdown and a block by McClendon and Wilson. A Penn State service error and a UNC ace sparked an 8-3 run by the Tar Heels to close the gap to three, 22-19. UNC's run came to an end with an attack error and two Penn State blocks secured set two for PSU, 25-21.
UNC grabbed a 3-1 lead to start the third and final set, but a 10-0 run by the Nittany Lions had Penn State in the lead, 12-3. McClendon had four kills in the run. After a Tar Heel timeout, UNC's Emily McGee registered a kill. However, PSU recorded the next three points for a 15-4 lead. Penn State held onto a double-digit lead until UNC's Courtney Johnson put down two kills and had a block to bring the Tar Heels within seven, 17-10. Kills from Kabbes and Balza brought the score to 19-10 in favor of Penn State. UNC came within six, 21-15, but the Nittany Lions held the Tar Heels at bay. A UNC service error, a Nittany Lion block and kills from McClendon and Kabbes gave Penn State a 25-16 third set victory.