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Sept. 29, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The top-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team (14-1, 4-0 Big Ten) earned a 3-0(25-23, 25-8, 25-20) win against No. 10 Minnesota (12-3, 3-1 Big Ten).
Juniors Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.), Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) and Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) posted nine kills apiece. Sophomore Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) posted 35 assists and was second on the team with nine digs. Sophmore Dominique Gonzalez (San Antonio, Texas) led the Lions with 12 digs and sophomore Nia Grant (Warren, Ohio) had a team-high four blocks.
Penn State registered a .404 hitting percentage and had 45 kills, seven aces, 38 digs and 8.0 total team blocks. The Gophers hit .098 with 29 kills, four aces, 32 digs and 5.0 team blocks.
The Gophers opened the match taking a 3-1 lead, but a Scott kill and a McClendon ace had the score tied at 3-3. Minnesota went back up by two, 8-6, but a joint block by Slay and McClendon and a Minnesota attack error made it eight all. McClendon gave Penn State a slim 9-8 lead with a kill. The teams traded points until a 3-0 run by PSU had the Lions leading, 15-12, and Minnesota taking a timeout. Despite a kill from Tori Dixon, Penn State's run continued giving the Lions a five point advantage, 18-13. Following a second Minnesota timeout, the Gophers fought to within three, 19-16, and the Nittany Lions took a break. The Gophers came within one, 21-20, but a McClendon kill and a Minnesota error had Penn State leading, 23-20. A 3-1 Gopher run had Minnesota within one, 24-23, but a Slay kill closed out set one for Penn State, 25-23.
Penn State grabbed a 4-1 lead in the second frame and Minnesota called a timeout. The Nittany Lions went on to tally four more points to Minnesota's two an 8-3 lead forcing Minnesota to use its second timeout. The Nittany Lions and Gophers went back and forth until McClendon sparked a 9-0 run for a 21-6 advantage. Minnesota's Ashley Wittman tallied a kill, but McClendon and Hancock each put down a kill to be within two points of taking the set, 23-7. Wittman pounded Minnesota's final point of the set before a Gopher error and an ace from Martin gave Penn State a 25-8 second set win.
With the score knotted at 3-3 early, a 4-0 run Lion run had Penn State with a 7-3 lead and Minnesota taking an early timeout. The Gophers came within two on three occasions, but a 5-1 PSU run had Penn State leading, 15-9. After a Gopher timeout, Minnesota closed the gap to four, 17-13. A Slay kill and a Gopher error moved Penn State's lead back to six, 19-13. Minnesota fought back to within four, 20-16, but kills from McClendon and Hancock had Penn State leading by five, 22-17. A 3-0 run by the Gophers had Minnesota trailing by only two, 22-20. However, Grant pounded three straight kills to close out the set for Penn state, 25-20.
Penn State is back in action on Oct. 5-6 when the Nittany Lions travel to Illinois and Northwestern. Both matches are set for 8 p.m. ET starts.
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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