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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - No. 1 Penn State women's volleyball (3-0) captured the Penn State Classic crown with a dominant straight set (25-13, 25-12, 25-9) victory against William & Mary (1-2) Saturday evening in Rec Hall.
Freshman Simone Lee led the offense with 10 kills, four digs and a solo stuff for her first career double-digit kill performance. Redshirt junior Aiyana Whitney followed closely behind with nine kills on nine perfect swings.
Freshman Ali Frantti totaled seven kills, four digs and tied for first on the squad with four blocks to earn Penn State Classic Most Outstanding Player honors.
Junior Megan Courtney led the defense with seven digs, while also tying for first on the team with four blocks. In addition to eight kills, Courtney earned a spot on the All-Tournament team. Senior Micha Hancock joined her on the All-Tournament team, notching five kills on seven errorless swings, as well as two aces and five digs.
Penn State shot out to a 7-2 advantage early in the first set, led by two kills from Whitney. William & Mary answered back with two consecutive kills to narrow the gap to three, 7-4, but the Nittany Lions used a quick 3-1 spurt featuring two kills from Courtney to maintain the edge, 10-5.
A Nittany Lion service error broke up the rhythm, but Penn State followed with an 8-2 streak, capped off by three consecutive kills from Whitney, Frantti and Courtney to stretch the advantage to double digits, 18-8.
Another service error halted the run, but the Nittany Lions regrouped with a 6-1 strike to arrive at set point, 24-10. The Tribe looked to rally, following three straight PSU errors, but a William & Mary service error gave Penn State a 25-13 win in the first set.
The Nittany Lions continued the momentum into the second set, opening the frame on a 9-1 run, capped off with a block by Whitney and Courtney. Penn State and the Tribe continued to trade points, 15-7, until PSU used a quick 4-2 stretch to bolster the lead back up to 10, 19-9.
William & Mary attempted to settle into an offensive rhythm with a block, 19-10, but Penn State answered with a 5-1 streak to make it set point, 24-11. A service error held off the attempt, but Frantti responded with a huge kill to lock up a 25-12 win in set two to put the Lions up 2-0 in the match.
Penn State came out of the break swinging, using a 7-2 run to build an early advantage. The Tribe responded with a 3-1 spurt to shave the lead back to three, 8-5, but PSU answered with six unanswered points to make it 14-5.
Looking to spark a run, William & Mary put down a kill, 14-6, but once again, PSU followed with a 7-2 stretch, capped off with back-to-back kills from Courtney to remain in control, 21-8. The Tribe made one final attempt to get back on track with a kill, 21-9, but Penn State closed out the frame on a 4-0 run to secure a 25-9 win to complete the sweep.
Next up, Penn State hits the road, traveling to the west coast to compete in the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge. The Nittany Lions open the weekend at No. 3 Stanford Friday, Sept. 5, before taking on RV UCLA Saturday, Sept. 6 in Palo Alto, Calif.