No. 1 Women's Volleyball Tops Wisconsin, 3-0
Oct. 3, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The top-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team concluded its first home weekend of Big Ten play with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-16) victory against Wisconsin. Penn State (16-0, 4-0) has extended its NCAA-record winning streak to 80 consecutive matches.
With the win, the Nittany Lions have tied their own record for consecutive Big Ten wins with 49. Penn State owns the top four winning streaks in the league. The Nittany Lions have not lost a conference match since Nov. 8, 2006 when Ohio State dealt the Lions a 3-0 loss.
Senior Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) and junior Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) led the team with 12 kills apiece. Senior setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 31 assists and a team-best 14 digs. Juniors Fatima Balza (Merida, Venezuela) and Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) led the squad with six total blocks each, while freshman Darcy Dorton (Muncie, Ind.) had five.
The Nittany Lions attacked at a .354 clip and held the Badgers (6-7, 1-3) to a measly .043. Penn State totaled 41 kills, 29 digs and 13.0 team blocks and held Wisconsin to just 31 kills, 21 digs and 3.0 total blocks.
Penn State got off to a slow start falling behind 3-0 before back-to-back Brown kills put the Nittany Lions on the board. The Badgers managed to increase its lead to 7-2 before PSU notched another point. Penn State fought back to within one point, 9-10, thanks to kills by Brown and Hodge and a Wilson/Glass block, but the Nittany Lions would not take control of the set until midway through the frame. A block by Balza and Brown tied the match 13-13 and an attack error by Wisconsin's Brittney Dolgner put Penn State ahead, 14-13, for the first time in the match. Badger Janelle Gabrielson tallied a kill to tie it up, 14-14, but three straight Wisconsin errors would put the Nittany Lions ahead by three, 17-14. After a Wisconsin timeout, Hodge increased the Nittany Lions advantage to four, 18-14, but the Badgers came back to within two courtesy of two PSU errors and a Dolgner kill. Kills by Hodge and Glass forced Wisconsin to take another timeout, but it did nothing to slow Penn State's momentum. Wilson teamed up with Dorton and Glass for three straight blocks and Dorton closed out the set for PSU with a kill.
The Nittany Lions scored first in set two with a kill by Wilson, but the Badgers did not let the Nittany Lions off easy. The score would tie seven more times with the lead changing hands four times before Penn State would manage to break away. Wisconsin took the lead for the final time, 12-11, with a kill by Kirby Toon, but two kills from Brown and a Toon attack error put Penn State ahead, 14-12. Penn State maintained at least a two-point advantage and grabbed its largest lead of the set thus far, 19-15, thanks to two straight errors by Wisconsin. A Badger timeout did little to help their cause as Allison Wack registered an error to move Penn State ahead by five, 20-15. The two squads traded kills, but the Badgers were unable to gain any momentum. Another timeout allowed Wisconsin to regroup enough to post a kill, but Balza notched a kill and teamed up with both Brown and Dorton for two blocks to give PSU a 25-20 second set win.
Balza opened the third set for Penn State with a bang recording a solo block on an attack by Gabrielson. Toon would tie it up, 1-1, with a kill, but kills by Dorton and Hodge and a Dolgner error had Penn State leading, 4-1. The Badgers came back to within one point after to PSU errors, however Hodge tallied a kill and Brown an ace to put the Nittany Lions back up by three, 7-4. Wisconsin managed to tie the set at 8-8 and 9-9 and even took the lead, 10-9, but Penn State shut down the Badgers and retook the lead with a Dorton/Balza block. Brown went on to give Penn State some breathing room with two consecutive kills for a 15-11 lead. Penn State worked up to a five-point lead, 17-12, on two monster kills from Hodge, but the Badgers were back within three, 17-14, after to PSU errors. The Nittany Lions managed to hold off the Badgers and grabbed their largest lead of the set, 21-15, as errors began to plague Wisconsin. Toon would register a kill after a second Wisconsin timeout, but the Nittany Lions crushed the Badgers hopes of a comeback and won the set, 25-16.
The Nittany Lions are back in action on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at Ohio State in a 7 p.m. matchup. It is the first of four consecutive road matches. The match will air live on the Big Ten Network and live stats will be available via a link at OhioStateBuckeyes.com. The Nittany Lions finally return home on Friday, Oct. 23 when they host Indiana in Rec Hall at 7 p.m.