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Aug 31, 2013
UNVIERSITY PARK, Pa. - In a matchup that featured sisters Deja and Maya McClendon on opposite sides of the net, No. 2 Penn State women's volleyball swept past No. 19 Louisville (1-1) in straight sets (25-15, 25-16, 25-13) in the finale of the Penn State Invitational at Rec Hall Saturday evening.
Senior Ariel Scott led the squad with double-digit kills, notching 11, while redshirt freshman Paulina Prieto Cerame tallied 10. Junior Micha Hancock dished out 28 assists, pacing the team to a .421 hitting percentage in the third set. Hancock also recorded eight aces, which is just two shy of her match-best mark of 10 that she recorded against Binghamton in the NCAA Tournament in 2012.
Hancock earned Penn State Invitational MVP honors for her efforts this weekend, while senior Katie Slay and Prieto Cerame joined her on the All-Tournament Team.
The Nittany Lions got out to a hot start against the Cardinals, using a 6-0 run to construct an early advantage. Prieto Cerame led the attack during the stretch with a pair of back-to-back kills, followed by one from Scott and two aces from Hancock. Penn State continued to pull away, using a trio of consecutive kills from junior Nia Grant, Hancock and Scott to make it 11-2.
With a steady 19-12 lead, Hancock connected on two straight aces to increase the Nittany Lion advantage to 21-12. Penn State rallied to finish the frame, as Deja pounded one final kill to give PSU the first set, 25-15.
Both teams kept it close early in the second set, before a block by Slay and Prieto Cerame broke open a 10-all tie. Hancock followed with her fifth ace of the match to give Penn State a 11-10 lead. Continuing the momentum, Penn State closed out the second set on an 11-4 run to improve to 2-0 in the match.
Penn State used a 5-0 spurt in the third set to secure a 13-5 lead. The scoring streak featured kills from Slay, Prieto Cerame and an ace by Grant. The Nittany Lions continued to pressure the Cardinals, taking its second double-digit lead of the third frame, 17-7, following Prieto Cerame's seventh kill of the night.
The Nittany Lions did not let the lead dip below 10 points for the rest of the match as Penn State cruised to a 25-13 victory in set three and a 2-0 record on the weekend. PSU had just 14 hitting errors against the Cardinals, with only three in the third set, while Cardinals had 25.
Next up, Penn State will travel to the Nike Big Four tournament in Austin, Texas where it will take on defending national champion No. 1 Texas and No. 9 Florida. For more information on Penn State women's volleyball visit GoPSUSports.com. The PSU women's volleyball season is presented by Rockvale Outlets.
Penn State Invitational All-Tournament Team