Rose Wins 900th Match In Women's Volleyball's 3-0 Defeat Of Michigan State
Sept. 21, 2007
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State women's volleyball head coach Russ Rose became only the third coach in Division I history to reach 900 wins as the third-ranked Nittany Lions defeated Michigan State in three games (30-13, 30-17, 30-17) to open the Big Ten season Friday night at Rec Hall. Penn State improves to 9-2 for the year as Michigan State falls to 9-4.
"This was a good way for Coach to win his 900th match," said assistant coach Salima Rockwell, who was an All-American setter for Rose. "With him it's never about the number of wins but how the team plays, and tonight we played hard and steady."
Said senior Ann Naylor (Los Angeles, Calif.): "This is certainly an accomplishment for Coach. Even though he doesn't make a big deal out of things like this, we're very proud of him and the tradition and history he has built here at Penn State."
Penn State used a season-high 18.5 team blocks to shut down the Spartans, holding them to a negative hitting percentage at -.011. Junior middle hitter Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) led all players with a season-high 11 blocks as sophomore setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) tied her career best with seven blocks. Senior middle hitter Melissa Walbridge (Yardley, Pa.) and redshirt freshman Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) each recorded six blocks, a season-high for Walbridge. Sophomore outside hitter Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) notched four blocks as junior outside hitter Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) tallied three stuffs.
Hodge led the Lions offensively with 12 kills as Harmotto posted 11 kills on an errorless 12 attacks to hit a career-high .917, her second career double-double. Brown recorded eight kills on .538 hitting as Fawcett notched seven kills and Walbridge added in five. As a team, Penn State attacked at a .434 clip for the match.
Glass directed the offense with 36 assists as junior libero Roberta Holehouse (Joppa, Md.) led all players with 10 digs. Fawcett chipped in eight digs and Harmotto tallied three.
Fawcett led the Lions with three service aces while Harmotto and Holehouse each added one.
Katie Johnson led Michigan State with eight kills as Jessica Hohl and Ashley Schatzle each recorded six. Lauren O'Reilly dished out 22 assists and led the team with five digs as Hohl, O'Reilly, Vanessa King and Jenilee Rathje each recorded one block.
Penn State opened up the match on a 9-2 run, including two blocks by Harmotto and Hodge and one more by Hodge and Walbridge. After a Michigan State timeout, Penn State continued their strong play, going up 17-6 aided by a triple block by Fawcett, Walbridge and Glass and four Spartan errors. Another Lion block, this one by Harmotto and Brown, gave Penn State the 20-8 lead and kills by Harmotto and Hodge put the Nittany Lions up 26-10 before Brown and Hodge kills ended the game, 30-13. Penn State hit .462 with 6.5 blocks in the stanza while siding out at 92%.
The second game began much as the first, with Penn State taking the 10-3 lead aided by three blocks and a Fawcett service ace. A triple block from Fawcett, Walbridge and Brown extended the lead to 16-6 and a Hodge kill made it 20-10 before kills from Hodge and freshman Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) pushed the score to 25-14. A Harmotto kill and Michigan State attack error ended the game, 30-17. Penn State hit .500 in the game and sided out at 94% as it racked up 5.5 blocks.
The Nittany Lions again jumped out to the substantial lead, going up 9-4 on a Harmotto kill and 15-7 on a Walbridge kill. Back to back Harmotto putaways gave Penn State the 20-9 advantage before a Harmotto and Glass block made it 24-14. Another triple block, this one by Fawcett, Walbridge and Brown, made the score 27-15 before a Brown kill and a Harmotto and Brown block ended the game, 30-17. Fawcett tallied six kills on an errorless 11 swings to hit .545 in the stanza.
The Nittany Lions remain at home, hosting Northwestern on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 7:00 p.m.