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Aug 31, 2013
UNVIERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 2 Penn State women's volleyball team officially opened the 2013 with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-17) victory against Syracuse in the Penn State Invitational this morning at Rec Hall. With the win, the Lions improve to 29-6 in season-openers under the guidance of head coach Russ Rose and 1-0 on the year.
Redshirt freshman Paulina Prieto Cerame led the Nittany Lions offense with nine kills, while junior Nia Grant added six. In her first appearance on the court following a redshirt season in 2012, Aiyana Whitney also notched six kills in Penn State win.
Penn State jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in set one, helped out by a trio of consecutive kills from Hancock, Slay and Prieto Cerame. As Penn State continued to pull away, the Orange fought within two, 12-10, following a kill from junior Nicolette Serratore and an attacking error on senior Deja McClendon.
The Lions regained momentum though, as Slay and sophomore Megan Courtney posted up for a block, followed by another from McClendon to make it 18-11. Penn State increased its advantage to as many as nine points, 23-14, before a kill from junior Nia Grant sent McClendon to the service line for match point. Grant followed with a kill to secure the opening set, 25-16.
PSU and SU traded points briefly in the second frame before a kill from McClendon knotted the match at 6-6. From there, the Lions went on a 7-3 run to construct at 13-9 lead, aided by three Orange attacking errors. Penn State didn't relinquish control for the remainder of the set and finished off the frame with a kill from Prieto Cerame and an ace from Hancock to go up 2-0 in the match.
With the third set tied at 11-11 in the third frame, Hancock answered with a kill, followed by a block from Slay and Whitney to give the Nittany Lions some distance, 13-11. One point later, Penn State followed with a 6-0 streak, surging in front of the Orange, 19-12.
Syracuse made one final attempt to hold off Penn State, 24-17, following a kill by sophomore Monika Salkute, but an Orange service error ended the attack, giving the Lions a 25-17 win in set three and the victory.
Penn State returns to action this evening, hosting No. 19 Louisville in the Penn State Invitational finale at 7 p.m. in Rec Hall. Single-tickets to tonight's matchup are $8 for adults and $5 for youth and can be purchased at the door or by calling 1-800-NITTANY.
The Penn State women's volleyball 2013 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets.