No. 2 Penn State Suffers 3-1 Setback to No. 3 Stanford
Sept. 9, 2011
PALO ALTO, Calif. - The second-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team (4-2) suffered a 3-1 (25-23, 19-25, 25-27, 18-25) setback to No. 3 Stanford in the opening match of the Nike Big Four Volleyball Classic. The Nittany Lions will face the loser of the Texas/Florida match on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Three Nittany Lions posted double-digit kills, led by sophomore Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) with 17. Sophomore Maddie Martin (Tampa, Fla.) was second on the team with 12, while sophomore Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) tallied 11 on a team-best .409 hitting. Freshman Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) dished out 45 assists and was second on the team with 11 digs. Junior libero Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) had a team-best 16 digs, while freshman Nia Grant (Warren, Ohio) had a team-high three blocks.
Penn State out-killed and out-served the Cardinal, totaling 57 kills to Stanford's 50 and five aces to Stanford's one. The Cardinal hit .224 for the match and held Penn State to .142. Stanford had 65 digs to Penn State's 63 and 15.0 team blocks to Penn State's 5.5.
The Cardinal grabbed a 3-1 lead to open the match, but kills from Slay and Scott had the score tied at 3-3. The score tied once more before two Penn State kills, one each from Slay and Martin, gave the Nittany Lions a two-point edge, 6-4. A PSU service error had Stanford within one, 6-5, but a 3-0 run by Penn State gave the Lions a 9-5 lead. After a Stanford timeout, Penn State's lead grew to five, 12-7. The Cardinal cut the gap to two, 12-10, but a 4-0 Nittany Lion run had the Lions ahead by six, 16-10. However, a Stanford kill sparked a 6-2 Cardinal run bringing Stanford within two, 18-16. A Penn State timeout failed to slow the Cardinal as its run continued with four additional points for a 20-18 advantage. A second Penn State timeout and two straight Martin kills had the score knotted at 20-20. The teams traded points until a McClendon putdown and a joint stuff by Hancock and Slay put Penn State at set point, 24-22. Stanford pounded one final kill before a service error by the Cardinal secured set one for the Lions, 25-23.
The second stanza was close from the start with the score tying six times before back-to-back McClendon kills had Penn State up by two, 9-7. A 4-0 run by the Cardinal put Stanford in the lead, 11-9. Stanford's lead grew to three, 14-11, but Penn State fought back to within one, 16-15, after two Cardinal errors and a Martin putdown. Stanford's extended its lead to three a second time, 18-15, forcing a Penn State timeout. A Stanford attack brought the Nittany Lions within two, 18-16. It was the closest the Lions would come for the remainder of the set. The Cardinal closed out the set with a 7-4 run for a 25-19 win.
McClendon opened the third frame with a kill, but a kill from Stanford's Rachel Williams and two PSU errors had the Cardinal ahead by two, 3-1. The Nittany Lions fought back to tie it up at 4-4, before eventually taking a 7-5 lead with kills from Martin and McClendon. Two straight PSU errors allowed the Cardinal to tie it at 7-7. Two consecutive putdowns by McClendon gave Penn State another two-point advantage, but the Cardinal didn't trail for the long. After Stanford tied the set at 10-10, the score tied five more times. A block by Grant and McClendon moved Penn State into the lead, 17-16, and sent Stanford to the bench. Kills from McClendon and Grant following the timeout increased Penn State's lead to three, 19-16. The lead was short-lived as Stanford used three straight kills to tie the score at 19-19. The Nittany Lions used a timeout and managed to take a one-point lead, 21-20, after a kill from McClendon and a Carpenter ace. Stanford prevented a PSU run with another timeout and quickly took the lead, 22-21. The Nittany Lions used their final timeout and McClendon followed with a kill to make it 22 all. The squads went back and forth until two PSU errors gave Stanford a 27-25 third set victory.
The Nittany Lions began the fourth and final set by taking a 3-1 lead. Stanford didn't let the Lions get too far ahead and soon the teams were neck-and-neck at 5-5. Neither team was able to break away and develop a comfortable lead until the Cardinal went up by three, 13-10, near the midpoint of the set. The Nittany Lions would trail for the remainder of the match. Trailing 16-13, Penn State called a timeout and Martin pounded a kill to bring the Lions within two, 16-14. The Nittany Lions were unable to get any closer to tying the set as Stanford capitalized on two kills and a PSU error for a 20-16 lead. Penn State used its final timeout, but was unable to find a way to slow the Cardinal. Stanford allowed Penn State two more points before closing out the set with a block for a 25-18 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.