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Sept. 28, 2013
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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Seniors Deja McClendon and Ariel Scott led the top-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team (10-2, 1-1) to a Big Ten victory against No. 10 Michigan (10-3, 0-2). With the 3-1 win, (25-16, 20-25, 25-19, 25-17) the Nittany Lions improve to 24-0 at home in Rec Hall against the Wolverines.
McClendon led the team with her second double-double of the season, posting 15 kills and 13 digs for a squad-best .433 hitting percentage. Scott also notched 15 kills, while tallying a season-high five blocks.
Sophomore Megan Courtney followed close behind the duo with 11 kills, adding eight digs, one service ace and four blocks, including two solo stuffs. Senior Katie Slay led the team with nine total blocks, while also totaling six kills.
Penn State got out to a solid start in the match, as McClendon and Slay registered consecutive kills to give the Lions a 2-0 advantage. Michigan answered back with a pair of points, and continued to keep it close until PSU broke open a tie game, 5-5, with a 3-0 spurt. Courtney and McClendon both combined for a pair kills in between a block from Grant and Hancock during the run to move the Lions ahead, 8-5.
The Wolverines charged back within one, 9-8, helped out by two kills from Lexi Erwin, but Penn State responded with a 4-1 streak, capped off by an ace from Hancock to go up, 13-9, forcing Michigan to call a timeout. Following the break, Scott, Slay and McClendon posted up for a triple block, but the two clubs traded service errors to make it a five-point game, 15-10. The Wolverines then rallied within three, 17-14, but Penn State answered with an ace from Gonzalez and a kill from Courtney, followed by an error from Michigan to go up, 19-14, forcing Michigan to use up its second timeout.
Hancock, Grant and Courtney came out of the huddle with three consecutive kills to push Penn State ahead, 22-14. The Wolverines attempted to get back on top with two kills by Abby Cole, but Grant answered back with two kills, in between an ace from sophomore Kendall Pierce to secure a 25-16 win in set one.
With the second set tied, 14-14, after a solo block from McClendon, the Wolverines went on a 5-1 run to claim a 19-15 advantage. Regrouping, Penn State stormed back with a 5-0 run, led by three kills from McClendon to knot the score, 19-19. The Wolverines jumped back on top, capitalizing on a PSU attack error and four kills to make it set-point, 24-19. Scott responded with a kill, but Molly Toon sent over a kill to seal a 25-20 win in set two, tying the match, 1-1.
Penn State and Michigan kept it close early in the third period before the Nittany Lions cracked open an 8-all tie with a 7-3 run to claim a four-point lead, 15-11. Michigan cut the advantage back to two, 15-13, but Penn State used a 4-0 streak to maintain the edge, 19-13. PSU remained solid throughout the rest of the set, capturing a 25-19 win to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
Following the intermission, Penn State jumped out to a 10-6 advantage in set four and never looked back. Powering ahead, the Nittany Lions went on a 7-1 run for a double-digit lead, 17-7. Michigan was unable to spark any offensive momentum for the remainder of the frame, as Courtney and Scott pounded two straight kills to complete the set, 25-17 and secure the win.
Penn State hits the road next weekend for a pair of Big Ten matchups against Indiana on Thursday, Oct. 3 and Purdue on Saturday, Oct. 5.