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Sept. 2, 2011
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The Penn State women's volleyball team (2-1) opened the University of Pittsburgh Invitational with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-21) win against Miami (Ohio). The Nittany Lions continue play tonight at 7 p.m. against Pittsburgh.
Sophomore Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) led all players with 14 kills. Sophomores Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) and Maddie Martin (Tampa, Fla.) both tallied eight kills apiece. Freshman Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) dished out 32 assists and junior Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) had a match-high 10 digs. Martin and freshman Nia Grant (Warren, Ohio) led the squad with three blocks each.
The Nittany Lions hit .250 against the Redhawks and totaled 40 kills, five aces, 32 digs and 6.0 team blocks. Miami finished the match hitting .153 with 29 kills, three aces, 27 digs and 6.5 team blocks.
The Redhawks opened the match taking a 4-1 lead before a 6-3 Penn State run had the score tied at 7-7. A Redhawk service error gave Penn State the edge, but it wasn't until midway through the frame that the Lions developed a comfortable 15-12 lead. After a Miami timeout, the Nittany Lions' lead grew to six, 19-13. The Redhawks came within four, 19-15, but Slay pounded a kill to move PSU back up by five, 20-15. Miami used its second timeout and began a 4-0 run to but Penn State's lead to two, 21-19. The Lions headed to the bench and closed out the set with a 4-1 run, thanks to three Miami errors and a McClendon kill.
The Nittany Lions took a 3-0 lead to open the second stanza. Cassie Farrell put down a kill for Miami, but a 3-0 run by PSU had Penn State leading by five, 5-1. The Redhawks came within three, 8-5, but a 4-0 run, including two kills from McClendon, had Penn State up by seven, 12-5. Miami cut the gap to two, 13-11, and stayed within three for much of the remainder of the set. With a 19-17 lead, Hancock notched a kill before a Miami error moved Penn State ahead by four, 21-17. The Redhawks called a timeout, but a McClendon putdown and two more Miami errors had Penn State at set point, 24-17. Christina Menche recorded a kill for Miami before a service error ended set two in Penn State's favor, 25-18.
The Nittany Lions had a slow start in set three as the Redhawks grabbed a 5-1 lead to start. However, Penn State took off on an 8-1 tear for a 9-6 lead. Miami came within two four times before a block and a kill by McClendon pushed Penn State ahead by four, 14-10. The Redhawks called a timeout, but Penn State's lead continued to grow courtesy of two Miami errors and a kill from sophomore Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.). The Nittany Lions maintained a convincing lead until a 6-2 Redhawk run had Miami trailing by only three, 22-19. Penn State called a timeout before Grant and McClendon teamed up for a block to give the Lions a four-point lead, 23-91. Chelsea Visk registered a kill for the Redhawks, but Scott fired back to keep PSU up by four, 24-20. Miami tallied one last kill before Grant closed out the set for the Lions with a kill for a 25-21 win.
For more information on the Penn State women's volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State women's volleyball 2011 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets.