No. 1 Women's Volleyball Knocks off EKU
Sept. 21, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Behind double-digit kill contributions from seniors Katie Slay, Deja McClendon and Ariel Scott, the top-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team (8-1) knocked off Eastern Kentucky (4-8) in three straight sets (25-10, 25-8, 25-19) Saturday morning in the Penn State Classic.
Slay led the trio of top performers with 11 kills and a squad-best five blocks, while Scott and McClendon added 10 kills apiece. Junior Dominique Gonzalez anchored the defense with a season-high 20 digs.
With four aces in the Nittany Lion victory, junior Micha Hancock notched her 200th career ace, moving her just 35 aces away from tying Ellen Hensler (1983-86) for first on the PSU all-time list.
Penn State bolted out to an early 10-3 advantage, led by a pair of kills from Slay. Eastern Kentucky attempted to halt the momentum, as Rachel Vick and Marissa Tashenberg connected on a block, 10-4. PSU continued the offensive rhythm, using a 3-0 spurt, featuring back-to-back kills from Hancock and McClendon to move ahead by nine, 13-4.
The Nittany Lions continued to dominate at the net, embarking on an 8-2 run, capped off with three straight kills from Slay and McClendon to make it 20-6. One point later, EKU attempted to spark a streak with two consecutive kills, 21-9 but Penn State rallied to a 25-10 win in the first set, helped out by two kills from Courtney and one from Scott.
With the second frame tied up early at 3-all, Scott, Grant and Martin lifted the Lions ahead with a trio of consecutive kills, 6-3. The Colonels answered back with a kill and an ace, but Penn State responded with an 8-2 stretch to double the advantage once more, 14-7. EKU managed just one more kill, 17-8, before the Lions closed out the set on an 8-0 run to secure a 2-0 advantage in the match.
Both teams kept it tight throughout the first half of the third set, with EKU moving ahead by one three times early in the frame. With the game knotted, 12-12 Penn State pulled ahead with a kill from Slay and an ace from Gonzalez, 14-12. EKU still remained within range of recapturing the lead, but the Nittany Lions stayed in control, as Scott tallied four kills to ultimately lead Penn State to a 25-10 win in the final period.
The Nittany Lions return to action in Rec Hall this evening, taking on Yale at 8 p.m. in the finale of the Penn State Classic. The 2013 Penn State women's volleyball season is presented by Rockvale Outlets.