No. 3 Women's Volleyball Cages Golden Eagles
Sept. 13, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla. - No. 3 Penn State women's volleyball dismantled Marquette in straight sets (25-17, 25-12, 25-17) in the opening match the of Hilton Garden Inn Homewood Suites Classic in Alico Arena Friday afternoon.
Four Nittany Lions hit higher than .440 in the PSU victory, led by senior Deja McClendon and sophomore Megan Courtney, who both tallied a team-high nine kills in the win. Senior Katie Slay followed close behind with eight kills on 10 errorless swings for a squad-best .800 hitting clip, adding four blocks.
Junior Dominique Gonzalez led the defense with 11 digs, while Courtney tallied 10. Fellow junior Micha Hancock paced the Penn State offense to a .414 hitting percentage, dishing out 33 assists, while also recording seven digs and three blocks.
Tied at 4-all in the opening frame, the Nittany Lions went on a 5-0 streak, led by kills from McClendon, junior Nia Grant and Courtney to construct an early 9-3 advantage. Following a Penn State attacking error, Marquette answered back with three consecutive kills, jumping within three points of the lead, 9-7.
As the Golden Eagles continued to attack, PSU held off the pressure, taking its largest lead of the set, 21-13, after a kill from McClendon. MU attempted to move ahead once more, using three straight points to make it 21-16. PSU responded with a 4-1 streak to finish off the set, 25-17.
Penn State jumped out to a 7-3 start in the second set, helped out by kills from Slay, Prieto Cerame and Courtney. The Nittany Lions continued to pull away, doubling the advantage to 14-6, forcing Marquette to call a timeout. Following the break, Penn State continued the momentum, securing a double-digit lead, 18-8, after a Golden Eagle attacking error.
From there PSU cruised to a 25-12 victory in the second set after closing out the frame on a 7-4 run to go up 2-0 in the match. Penn State hit .444 in set two (13-1-27), while stifling the Golden Eagles to a .000 hitting clip (9-9-25).
With the third set tied, 13-13, Penn State used a 3-0 spurt, featuring a pair of consecutive kills by Prieto Cerame to secure a 17-13 advantage. The Golden Eagles notched one more kill before Penn State used another 4-0 stretch, capped off by an ace from Grant to go up by as many as seven points, 21-14.
Slay, McClendon and Prieto Cerame all combined for kills, before redshirt sophomore Aiyana Whitney smacked one final kill to secure match point for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State return to action tomorrow, opening the day with a match against Central Arkansas at 10 a.m. ET, before concluding the weekend with a match against tournament host, FGCU at 7 p.m. ET in Alico Arena. The 2013 Penn State women's volleyball season is presented by Rockvale Outlets.