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Sept. 15, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The fourth-ranked Nittany Lion women's volleyball team (10-1) finished the Penn State Classic 3-0 with a closing 3-0 (25-14, 25-14, 25-16) victory against Eastern Illinois. The Nittany Lions begin Big Ten play on Wednesday, Sept. 19 against No. 1 Nebraska at 8 p.m. at Rec Hall. The match will air live on the Big Ten Network.
Junior Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) was named the Penn State Classic MVP, while freshman Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio) and sophomore Lacey Fuller (San Diego, Calif.) earned spots on the all-tournament team. Joining the trio were EIU's Kelsey Roggemann, Portland's Ariel Usher and Patti Abshire and Allison Foschia of Duquesne.
Junior Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.), Slay and Courtney each posted nine kills with Slay leading the Lions with a .692 hitting percentage. Sophomore Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) paced the offense with 36 assists and a team-high three blocks. Courtney led the team in digs with 12, while Fuller recorded eight.
Penn State registered a .380 hitting percentage and held the Panthers to .043. The Nittany Lions totaled 45 kills, four aces, 43 digs and 6.5 total team blocks. Eastern Illinois finished the match with 25 kills, one ace, 32 digs and 3.0 team blocks.
The Lions opened the match with a 3-1 lead, but the Panthers fought to within one, 5-4. Penn State increased its lead to four, 10-6, and the Panthers continued to trail by at least four points. A 3-0 run after the midpoint of the set gave Penn State a comfortable 19-13 advantage. EIU called a timeout, but Penn State continued its run with six points to their one for a 25-14 win.
The teams started out the second frame with neither squad able to develop any momentum to take control. It was until two aces from junior Maddie Martin (Tampa, Fla.) that Penn State grabbed a two-point edge, 8-6. After an EIU timeout, the Panthers stayed close, coming within one, 10-9. However, a 4-1 PSU run had the Lions leading 14-10. Penn State's lead grew to six, 18-12, when the Panthers called a second timeout. The Nittany Lions followed the break with a 3-0 run for a 21-12 lead. EIU pounded a kill, but redshirt sophomore Erica Denney (Aurora, Colo.) fired back and Martin recorded another ace to make it 23-13 in favor of Penn State. EIU's final point came on a PSU service error before kills from Scott and Courtney closed out the set, 25-14.
Penn State leapt out to an 8-3 lead in the third and final set forcing an early Panther timeout. The Nittany Lion dominance continued as Penn State used a 6-2 run for a 14-6 lead. Following a second Eastern Illinois timeout, two PSU errors brought the Panthers within six, 14-8. The teams traded points for much of the remainder of the set with Penn State remaining ahead by at least five. With an 18-13 lead, Penn State headed toward the end of the set with a 5-2 run for a 23-15 advantage. A McClendon kill and an EIU error sealed the deal for Penn State and the Nittany Lions came away with a 25-16 third set victory.
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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