Nittany Lions Sprint Past DePaul, 3-0
CHICAGO, Ill. - The second-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team (6-0) earned a 3-0 (25-17, 25-12, 25-17) win against DePaul in the Chicago Classic. The Nittany Lions take on Oregon State tonight at 8 p.m. ET at Mother McAuley High School.
Junior Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) led the Nittany Lions with 14 kills on 24 errorless swings for a .583 hitting percentage. Junior Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) was second on the squad with 11 kills. Sophomore Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) dished out 38 assists to pace the offense. Sophomore Dominique Gonzalez (San Antonio, Texas) led the Lion s with 11 digs, while McClendon posted 10. Redshirt sophomore Erica Denney (Aurora, Colo.) led the Lions with five blocks and Scott totaled four.
Penn State hit .470 against the Blue Demons and totaled 45 kills, four aces, 43 digs and 9.0 total team blocks. DePaul hit .076 against the Nittany Lions and finished the match with 25 kills, two aces, 30 digs and 3.0 team blocks.
The first set started out close. It wasn't until midway through that the Nittany Lions took a commanding lead. With the score knotted at 11-11, a Courtney kill and a DePaul error gave Penn State a two-point cushion, 13-11. After a Blue Demon kill, a 5-0 Nittany Lion run had Penn State with an 18-12 advantage. DePaul closed the gap to four on three occasions before a McClendon kill and a Hancock ace had the Lions leading, 22-16. After a DePaul timeout, a PSU service error put the ball in DePaul's hands. However, a Scott kill and two DePaul errors gave Penn State a 25-17 first set win.
The Nittany Lions took control earlier in set two grabbing a 9-6 lead. After a DePaul timeout, Penn State's lead increased to seven, 13-6, courtesy of three straight Blue Demon errors and a Hancock kill. Despite two points by DePaul, McClendon and Hancock each tallied a kill for an eight-point lead, 16-8. Penn State's momentum continued with the Lions moving ahead by 10, 21-11, forcing a DePaul timeout. Denney and Scott each put down a kill before an ace by Gonzalez had Penn State at set point, 24-11. DePaul pounded one final kill before junior Maddie Martin (Tampa, Fla.) put one away for a 25-12 set two victory.
The third frame was much like the second with the Nittany Lions taking a 9-5 lead to start and DePaul using an early timeout. The timeout didn't faze Penn State as they embarked on a 6-2 run for a comfortable 15-7 lead. DePaul burned its second timeout and went on a three-point run. However, Penn State answered with a 3-0 run of its own with a kill from Martin and an ace from freshman Lara Caraway (Evans City, Pa.) for an 18-10 lead. The two squads traded points for much of the remainder of the set with the Blue Demons coming no closer than six points, 21-15. A McClendon kill and and an ace by sophomore Lacey Fuller (San Diego, Calif.) had Penn State closing in on the win, 23-15. Despite a kill by DePaul and a PSU error, kills from McClendon and sophomore Nia Grant (Warren, Ohio) secured set three for Penn State, 25-17.
For more information on the Penn State women's volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State women's volleyball 2012 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets.
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