No. 2 Women's Volleyball Sweeps UIC, 3-0
CHICAGO, Ill. - The No. 2 Penn State women's volleyball team (7-1) closed out the Chicago Classic on Sunday with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-17) victory against UIC. Junior Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) led all players with 13 kills.
Sophomore Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) dished out 27 assists and had three aces and seven blocks against the Flames. Sophomore Dominique Gonzalez (San Antonio, Texas) had a team-best nine digs, while junior Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) posted a match-high eight blocks.
Penn State hit .239 against the Flames and held UIC to .056 hitting. The Nittany Lions totaled 35 kills, nine aces, 27 digs and 14.0 total team blocks. UIC finished with 28 kills, one ace, 32 digs and 6.0 team blocks.
After a close start, the Nittany Lions developed a 10-6 lead with the help of blocks by Slay, Scott and freshman Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio). After a UIC timeout, the Flames pounded three kills to close the gap to two, 12-10. A UIC error and a block from Hancock and sophomore Nia Grant (Warren, Ohio) had the Lions with a four-point lead, 14-10. Penn State maintained a three-point edge until a 3-0 UIC run had the Flames within one, 16-15. Junior Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) and Scott pounded two kills for Penn State to give the Lions a three-point cushion, 18-15. The Nittany Lion run continued with back-to-back blocks, two straight UIC errors and a Scott kill for a 23-15 lead. Following a timeout by the Flames, UIC managed two final points before kills from Scott and Hancock secured set one for the Nittany Lions, 25-17.
It was a rough start to the second frame as Penn State fell behind, 5-1. A Scott putdown and an ace from Fuller brought the Lions within two, 5-3. Despite a UIC kill, one from Scott and a Hancock ace had the Nittany Lions within one, 6-5. Two straight points from the Flames put UIC up by three, 8-5. A 3-1 PSU run had the Lions within one, 9-8, but a block by the Flames kept UIC up by two, 10-8. Penn State then embarked on a 3-0 run to take the lead, 11-10. The Flames knotted the score at 11-11, but a four-point PSU run had the Lions leading by four, 15-11. Penn State's lead grew to five, 18-13, and the teams began trading points with the Nittany Lions holding on to a four-point lead, 20-16. Penn State used a 4-1 run, which included a solo stuff by Slay, to arrive at set point, 24-17. UIC grabbed a point on a PSU error, but a Hancock block closed out set two for Penn State, 25-18.
Penn State jumped out to an 8-2 lead to start the third frame. The Flames fought to within four five times, but a service error by the Flames and a joint block by Slay and Hancock had the Lions leading, 14-8. The Flames were able to rally and fight to within four, 15-11, but three straight PSU kills had Penn State ahead by seven, 18-11. The teams went back and forth for the remainder of the set with Penn State maintaining a convincing advantage. A solo stuff by Courtney and a Hancock kill placed the Lions at set point, 24-15. Two more points from the Flames prolonged the inevitable, but Slay pounded a kill for the win, 25-17.
Penn State returns home on Sept. 14-15 to host the Penn State Classic at Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions welcome Portland, Duquesne and Eastern Illinois to their home court. Penn State faces Portland first on Friday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m.
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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