No. 2 Women's Volleyball Takes Down Syracuse in Straight Sets

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Redshirt sophomore Aiyana Whitney notched six kills in her first official match of the season following a redshirt year in 2012

Aug 31, 2013

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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.

Senior Katie Slay tallied a team-high five blocks, including two solo blocks, while junior Micha Hancock added 30 assists, pacing the offense to a .313 hitting clip.

Freshmen Carley Muller, Laura Broerman and Taylor Krause all saw action on the court for the first time in their collegiate careers at PSU.

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.




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