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Sept. 2, 2011
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The Penn State women's volleyball team improved to 3-1 overall with a 3-0 (25-13, 25-12, 25-18) victory at Pittsburgh Friday night. The Nittany Lions conclude play in the Pittsburgh Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 10 a.m. against New Hampshire.
Sophomore Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) led Penn State with 12 kills, while classmate Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) was second on the team with 10. Sophomore Maddie Martin (Tampa, Fla.) finished third on the team with a career-high seven. Freshman setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) paced the offense with 27 assists and contributed a team-best four aces and 11 digs. Junior Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) also registered 11 digs, while sophomore Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) led the Lions with three blocks.
Penn State hit .348 for the match and held the Panthers to .090. The Nittany Lions totaled 38 kills, six aces, 39 digs and 6.0 total team blocks. Pittsburgh closed out the match with 26 kills, three aces, 34 digs and 4.0 team blocks.
The first set started out close, but Penn State maintained at least a two-point lead. Leading 10-8, Penn State took off on a 14-4 run for a 24-12 lead. Martin had four kills and an ace during the run, while McClendon and Scott tallied one kill apiece. The Nittany Lions were also aided by six Panther errors. Keisha Leggs pounded a kill to cut off the Penn State run. However, Hancock closed out set one with a kill to give the Nittany Lions a convincing 25-13 first set win.
Penn State opened set two taking a 6-0 lead. Hancock had two aces, Pittsburgh recorded two errors and Scott and McClendon each pounded a kill. Monica Wignot recorded a kill for Pittsburgh, but Penn State embarked on a 5-0 run for an 11-1 advantage. The Panthers managed to cut the gap to seven, 13-6, but kills from Martin and Scott had the Lions up by eight, 15-7. Two McClendon kills and two Pitt errors pushed Penn State's lead into double-digits, 19-8. The Panthers put up a block, but kills from Scott and Grant kept Penn State ahead, 22-9. Leggs put down a kill for Pittsburgh, but Martin and Scott recorded kills to put Penn State at set point, 24-11. Leggs tallied one final kill for the Panthers before Hancock secured set two for the Lions with a kill, 25-12.
The Panthers grabbed a 6-2 lead to start set two, but a service error, a Carpenter ace and a Martin kill had Penn State within one, 6-5. Despite a service error by Pitt, a joint stuff by Slay and Scott, a Slay kill and a Panther error moved Penn State into the lead, 8-7. The score tied three times before a block by McClendon and Slay and a Pitt error pushed Penn State into the lead by two, 12-10. A Hancock ace and another Pitt error increased Penn State's lead to three, 14-11, but the Panthers fought back to knot the score at 16-16. Penn State moved ahead by three, 19-16, and forced a Pittsburgh timeout. The Panthers came within two, 20-18, but it was the closest they would come for the remainder of the set. Two Pitt errors, a Hancock ace and a McClendon kill gave Penn State a 25-18 third set victory.
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.