No. 1 Penn State Sweeps Michigan State
Oct. 17, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The No. 1 Penn State women's volleyball team remained undefeated with a 3-0 (25-11, 25-18, 25-12) sweep of Big Ten foe Michigan State. Junior Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) led all players with 13 kills while attacking at a .522 clip.
Senior Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) was the only other Nittany Lions with double-digit kills with 12. She also finished second on the team with six total blocks. Senior setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) dished out 36 assists, while junior Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) led the team with seven total blocks and tallied eight kills on .727 hitting. Junior libero Alyssa D'Errico (Byron, N.Y.) posted a team-best 14 digs.
Penn State totaled 45 kills on the night with just four errors in 79 swings for a .519 attack percentage. The Nittany Lions finished with 39 assists, 34 digs and 10.0 total team blocks. The Spartans posted just 31 kills, 31 assists, 23 digs and only 3.0 team blocks.
The Nittany Lions took an early 6-2 lead against the Spartans thanks to four Spartan errors, a kill by Wilson and a Dorton/Wilson block. Michigan State's Megan Schatzle notched back-to-back kills to bring the Spartans within two, 6-4, but Penn State maintained its early momentum and had a 13-6 advantage when MSU took its first timeout. The timeout failed to slow the Lions as PSU tallied the next four points for a double-digit lead. Michigan State head coach Cathy George took a second timeout and Becca Zlabis managed a swing for a kill. However, two kills from Brown and one from Wilson had the Nittany Lions leading 20-7 before the Spartans scored another point. Another kill by Zlabis put the ball in MSU's hands, but a Spartan error returned it to Penn State. The Nittany Lions went on to hold the Spartans to just 11 points as freshman Darcy Dorton (Muncie, Ind.) locked up the set for PSU with a kill.
Michigan State's Vanessa King gave the Spartans its first lead of the night starting off the first set with a kill. Balza put the Nittany Lions on the board with a kill, but King registered a kill to give the Spartans the lead, 2-1. Penn State tied the Spartans twice, but MSU soon found itself ahead by three, 6-3. Penn State worked back to within one, 6-5, but Michigan State was back up by three, 8-5, after a PSU error and an ace from Zlabis. Dorton capped off a long rally with a kill to give the Lions the ball and after a Balza kill, the Spartans posted two straight kills for a 9-7 edge. The Nittany Lions tied the Spartans, 11-11, on back-to-back kills from Brown and a double-block by Brown and Wilson gave PSU its first lead of the set. Following a Michigan State timeout, Penn State recorded the next four points to increase their lead to five, 16-11. A kill by Natalie Emro cut off the Penn State run, but a Hodge kill and a MSU error put PSU back up by six, 18-12. The Spartans managed to come no closer than five points for the remainder of the set. Hodge and Wilson joined forces for a block to close out the second set, 25-18, to give Penn State a 2-0 match lead.
Brown started of the third set with a kill, but a PSU service error had Michigan State on the board. However, two kills by Hodge and one from Wilson had the Nittany Lions leading, 4-1, soon after. King cut off the Lions with a kill, but Hodge responded with a monster kill for a 5-2 lead. Two setting errors by the Spartans forced them to the bench for a timeout, but another MSU error had the Nittany Lions taking an 11-5 lead. Kyndra Abron registered a kill, however, Penn State went on a four-point run capped off by a Wilson kill splitting an MSU block to send MSU back to the drawing board. Brown posted the first point after the break for a double-digit PSU lead. The Spartans were unable to slow the Nittany Lions as Penn State moved closer to taking the third set. Brown and Hodge would close out the third set and the match for the Nittany Lions with one kill each.
Penn State is back in action on Friday, Oct. 23 when it hosts Indiana at 8 p.m. The match will air live on ESPNU. The Nittany Lions then host Purdue on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. with the Big Ten Network airing the match on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 8 p.m.