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Oct. 23, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Senior Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) led the top-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team with 16 kills as the Nittany Lions swept Indiana (14-9, 3-6), 3-0 (25-19, 25-13, 25-17), Friday night in Rec Hall. Penn State (21-0, 9-0) extended its home winning streak to 63 matches and its NCAA-record winning streak to 85 consecutive matches.
In addition to her 16 kills on .538 hitting, Hodge tallied 11 digs to tie for first on the team with junior libero Alyssa D'Errico (Byron, N.Y.). Senior setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) paced the Nittany Lion offense with 33 assists, while both juniors Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) and Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) registered seven kills apiece. Junior Fatima Balza (Merida, Venezuela) posted a team-best seven blocks against the Hoosiers.
Penn State posted a .362 attack percentage and held the Hoosiers to a meager .088. The Nittany Lions recorded 43 kills, 41, digs and 11.0 total team blocks. Indiana finished the night with 31 kills, 37 digs and just 3.0 team blocks.
Despite the Hoosiers tallying the first point of set one, the Nittany Lions wasted no time taking a strong lead. Penn State grabbed a 7-2 lead early thanks to three kills by Hodge, one by Brown and three Indiana errors. Indiana's Jordan Haverly cut off the PSU run with a kill, but Wilson tallied a kill on the next play to put the ball back in Penn State's hands. The Hoosiers worked to within three, 10-7, but three straight Penn State kills and back-to-back blocks had the Nittany Lions leading by eight, 15-7. After a timeout, freshman Darcy Dorton (Muncie, Ind.) teamed up with Balza for another block to increase Penn State's lead to nine, 16-7, but Hoosier Samantha Thrower posted a kill to give Indiana the ball. After four straight errors, two by each team, Glass set Balza for a kill for a 19-10 advantage and Indiana took its first timeout. As the set wound down, the Hoosiers managed to come within six points of the Nittany Lions, but Penn State held the Indiana off for a 25-19 first set win.
The two teams remained close early in the second set after Penn State grabbed a slim 2-0 lead. Three Hoosier kills allowed Indiana to tie the set at 3-3. The two squads would tie it up three more times before a Hodge kill sparked the Nittany Lions into action. Indiana went on to tally two attack errors before D'Errico served three consecutive aces for a 14-8 lead. Penn State would increase its lead to eight courtesy of three kills by Hodge and a block by sophomore Katie Kabbes (Raleigh, N.C.) and Wilson. Indiana took a timeout, but it didn't faze Penn State as a Glass/Wilson block and an Indiana error moved Penn State ahead, 21-11. A kill by Brown, two Penn State blocks and Kabbes kill wrapped up the second set in PSU's favor, 25-13.
The Nittany Lions second the 3-0 win with a 25-17 third set victory. Hodge opened the set with a kill, but a Hoosier block put Indiana on the board. Indiana's Mary Chaudoin gave Indiana its only lead of the set with a kill, but a service error and block by Brown and Wilson had Penn State leading, 3-2. Haverly tied the set at 3-3 with a kill, but Wilson pounded two kills in a row to put the Nittany Lions in the lead for good. By midway through the set, Penn State led, 15-9 and, after a timeout, Brown increased that lead to seven 16-9, with a kill. After a service error, the two teams went back and forth, but Penn State maintained at least a five-point lead Another Kabbes kill and a block by Balza and Glass had PSU leading 20-13. The Hoosiers fought to with seven after a kill from Ashley Benson and a PSU service error. However, Hodge secured the win for PSU with a kill.
Penn State is back in action Saturday at 7 p.m. against Purdue. The match will be tape-delayed by the Big Ten Network and air Sunday, Oct. 25 at 8 p.m. Live stats and live audio will be available via a link at GoPSUsports.com.