No. 2 Women's Volleyball Powers Past No. 24 Buckeyes
Oct. 23, 2013
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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Senior Deja McClendon led the No. 2 Penn State women's volleyball team (17-2, 8-1) to a 3-0 sweep (25-9, 25-11, 25-16) against No. 24 Ohio State (14-7, 2-7) Wednesday evening on Dig Pink night at Rec Hall. With the victory, the Nittany Lions improve their conference winning streak to eight straight matches.
McClendon registered a team-high 10 kills on .500 hitting, adding nine digs, two blocks and a season-high two aces. Senior Ariel Scott followed close behind with nine kills, adding one dig and five blocks. Junior Nia Grant matched a season-high mark with six blocks, including one solo stop, while also tallying three kills, one ace and four digs.
Junior Micha Hancock directed the Nittany Lion offense to a .333 hitting clip, dishing out 23 assists and 11 digs for a double-double, adding three aces and three blocks.
PSU limited the Buckeyes to a -.030 hitting clip, surrendering less than 10 kills in sets one and two, including just four in the first frame alone. The mark is the first time the Nittany Lions have held a Big Ten opponent to a negative attacking percentage since Nov. 5, 2008, when PSU limited Indiana to a -.020 clip in a 3-0 win at Rec Hall.
Penn State got out to a hot start in the first set, using a 7-1 run, capped off by three consecutive blocks from Slay and Scott and an ace by Hancock. The Buckeyes attempted to spark an offensive rhythm with a kill, but the Nittany Lions answered with a 4-0 strike to increase the lead to nine, 11-2. Looking for another spark, Ohio State tallied two quick points to make it 11-4, but PSU continued to pull away, constructing a double-digit advantage, 16-6, forcing OSU to call a timeout.
The Nittany Lions allowed the Buckeyes just three more points, as they closed out the frame on a 9-3 run, for a 25-9 win in set one. The final streak featured kills from McClendon, Hancock, Scott and senior Katie Slay.
PSU grabbed the lead from the beginning of set two, and used an early 4-0 spurt to grow the advantage to five, 10-5. Chipping away at the lead, Ohio State fought back within five, 15-10, helped out by two kills and a Penn State attack error. Penn State powered on, using a 4-0 stretch opened up by back-to-back kills from Scott, to move ahead, 19-10.
Looking to regroup, Kaitlyn Leary fired a kill for the Buckeyes, but Penn State responded with a 6-0 run to secure set two, 25-11.
Trailing just once in the third, 2-1, Penn State delivered an 8-0 streak, finished off by two consecutive kills from Courtney to go up 9-2. Leary cut into the momentum with a kill, but Penn State continued to pull away, leading by as many as nine, 14-5.
Attempting to settle into an offensive rhythm, Ohio State answered back with a 5-2 stretch to come within six, 16-10, before Slay, Scot and Whitney pounded a trio of back-to-back kills to bring PSU back up by nine, 19-10.
The Buckeyes couldn't cut into the comfortable PSU cushion for the remainder of the set, as the Nittany Lions cruised to a 25-16 win in the third stanza, finished off by consecutive kills from Hancock for the victory.
Penn State is back in action Saturday, Oct. 26, taking on Iowa at 7 p.m. in Rec Hall.