No. 1 Penn State Women's Volleyball Sweeps Northwestern, 3-0
Oct. 5, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. - The top-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team (15-1, 5-0 Big Ten) defeated Northwester, 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-23) Friday night. The Nittany Lions are back in action on Saturday, Oct. 6 at No. 21 Illinois at 8 p.m. ET.
Tonight's match against the Wildcats will air on the Big Ten Network on Monday, Oct. 8 at 4 p.m. ET.
Junior Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) led the Lions with 11 kills on .500 hitting, while junior Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) posted 10. Sophomore Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) paced the offense with 36 assists and sophomore Dominique Gonzalez (San Antonio, Texas) recorded a match-high 12 digs. Slay led Penn State with seven total blocks.
Northwestern got off to a 3-1 start, but a block and a kill by sophomore Nia Grant (Warren, Ohio)had the score tied at 3-3. Penn State developed a two-point lead, 7-5, thanks to a block by freshman Megan Courtney(Dayton, Ohio) and Slay and a Gonzalez ace. However, a 3-0 run by the Wildcats had the score at 8-8. Penn State answered with a 4-0 run to take a slim 11-8 lead and soon after the momentum swung Penn State's way and the Lions were up 15-10. The Lions maintained control until a 5-2 run by Northwestern had the Wildcats trailing by only one, 22-21. Junior Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) put down a kill to make it 23-21, but a PSU error and a Northwestern kill had it tied at 23-23. Penn State called a timeout and took the lead on a Northwestern error, 24-23. Scott pounded a kill to close out set one for Penn State, 25-23.
The Wildcats went up 3-1 to start the second stanza and maintained the lead for much of the first half of the set. Trailing 15-12, a 4-0 run by Penn State moved the Lions into the lead, 16-15 and forced a Northwestern timeout. Penn State's run continued with kills from Slay and junior Maddie Martin (Tampa, Fla.) to move the Lions ahead by three, 18-15. The Wildcats called a second timeout and Slay and Hancock teamed up for a block to make it 19-15. The Nittany Lions allowed Northwestern only three additional points before an ace from senior Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) and a Grant kill secured set two for PSU, 25-18.
The Wildcats grabbed the momentum in set three taking a 5-1 lead. Penn State fought to within one, 7-6, with a 5-2 run thanks to kills from Martin and Scott. The Nittany Lions continued to trail for much of the set, but had managed to close the gap to one, 17-16, after a Wildcat error and a Hancock ace. Two Northwestern kills sandwiching a Grant kill kept Northwestern in the lead. Martin tallied a kill, but another kill by the Wildcats had Northwestern leading by two, 20-18. Penn State called a timeout and a Scott kill and a PSU block had Penn State tying it at 20-20. Despite a Northwestern kill, Martin and McClendon each put down a kill to move Penn State into the lead, 22-21. The Wildcats used a timeout, but a Slay kill and a Northwestern error had Penn State at set point, 24-22. Northwestern scored one final point before Grant closed out the match with a kill, 25-23.
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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