Rose Records Win No. 1,107 in 3-0 Sweep at Northwestern
Oct. 20, 2013
EVANSTON, ILL. - Head coach Russ Rose moved into sole possession of second place on the NCAA DI wins list with victory number 1,107, as the No. 4 Penn State women's volleyball team (16-2, 7-1) swept Northwestern (12-8, 4-4) in straight sets (25-17, 25-15, 25-17) Sunday afternoon at the Welsh Ryan Arena.
The Nittany Lion triumph extends the current PSU winning streak to seven straight matches and puts Rose 12 victories shy of matching current Hawaii head coach Dave Shoji for first on the all-time list with 1,119 career wins.
Junior Nia Grant matched a career-high mark with a team-high 11 kills on .769 hitting, adding one ace and one block. Sophomore Megan Courtney followed closely behind with 11 kills, while also recording seven digs. Senior Katie Slay led the squad in blocking with eight blocks, adding four kills, while redshirt freshman Paulina Prieto Cerame recorded a career-high mark with two aces.
Junior Micha Hancock paced the team to a .385 overall hitting clip, including a .565 performance in the opening frame. Hancock dished out 36 assists, adding four kills, two aces and a season high five blocks.
Penn State and Northwestern opened the match trading the lead before the Nittany Lions broke open a 6-all tie with a 4-1 streak, featuring a kill from Grant and an ace from Prieto Cerame, moving ahead by three, 10-7. The Wildcats narrowed the margin to two, 10-8, with a kill from Stephanie Holthus, but Penn State responded with another 4-1 strike to rebuild the advantage to five 14-9.
Holthus ended the stretch with a pair of consecutive kills, but the Lions continued the balanced attack, using a 4-1 run to bolster the lead to six, 18-12. Northwestern couldn't cut into the advantage, as Penn State took its largest lead of the stanza, 23-15, finished off by a kill and an ace from Hancock. Despite two more kills from Holthus, an NU service error and a kill from Scott was all PSU needed to take set one, 25-17.
The Nittany Lions stormed out to a 13-5 lead in the second stanza, led by three kills from McClendon and two from Grant. Kayla Morin attempted to spark some momentum with a kill, but Penn State surged ahead with a 5-1 streak to put the advantage into double figures, 18-7.
Later in the frame, the Wildcats used a 3-0 spurt to trim the lead back to seven, 22-15, forcing PSU to call a timeout. Following the break, two NU hitting errors put the Nittany Lions at set-point, 24-15, before Grant secured a 25-15 win with an ace to put PSU up 2-0 in the match.
McClendon led Penn State to another hot start in the third set, totaling three kills to put Penn State up, 6-1. Northwestern responded with a 7-2 run to knot the game, 8-8, but Grant and Prieto Cerame fired two back-to-back kills to push Penn State ahead, 10-8. Shortly after, the Wildcats battled within one, 11-10, but PSU constructed a 4-1 streak, capped off with an ace from Hancock to make it 15-11.
A PSU service error and an NU ace moved the Wildcats within two, 15-13, but the Nittany Lions held off the comeback, surrendering just four more points on the way to a 25-17 win in set three and a victory in the match.
Penn State returns home from the road next weekend to host a pair of Big Ten matches at Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions welcome Ohio State Wednesday, Oct. 23th and Iowa Saturday, Oct. 26th. First serve for both matches is slated for 7 p.m.
Wednesday's match against the Buckeye's is also Penn State's Dig Pink match. Fans are encouraged to wear pink and donate to Penn State's campaign, which supports the Side-Out Foundation. The matchup will broadcast live on ESPN3.