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Oct. 24, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With 3,012 fans filling Rec Hall, the top-ranked Nittany Lion women's volleyball team secured a 3-0 (25-13, 25-15, 25-12) sweep of Big Ten foe Purdue (11-10, 3-7). Penn State (22-0, 10-0) improves to 41-5 all-time against the Boilermakers.
Senior setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) led the Nittany Lions offense to a .438 attack percentage, while dishing out 32 assists and leading the team with seven total blocks. Senior Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) posted a match-high 10 kills on .450 hitting and junior Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) notched eight. Juniors Fatima Balza (Merida, Venezuela) and Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) each tallied six kills and six total blocks.
Penn State recorded 39 kills with just four attack errors, eight aces, 29 digs and 14.0 total team blocks. The Nittany Lions held the Boilermakers to a measly .034 hitting percentage, 27 kills, zero aces and just 1.0 team block.
The Boilermakers were on the board first in set one after a kill by Ariel Turner, but the Nittany Lions went on to score the next six points for a 6-1 lead and forced Purdue to take an early timeout. Boilermaker Kristen Arthurs tallied a kill after the timeout, but Balza pounded a kill to keep Penn State's five-point lead intact. The Nittany Lions increased their lead to seven, 10-3, after kills from Wilson and Hodge and a Penn State block. Purdue would come within six points three times my midway through the frame, but PSU's momentum continued to grow. A kill by Hodge and a solo block by Wilson would bring the score to 18-9 in Penn State's favor and send Purdue to the bench for another timeout. Penn State's lead increased to double-digits, 19-9, after the timeout thanks to a Purdue attack error, but Boilermaker Jaclyn Hart posted a kill to put Purdue within nine. Penn State never let up as Hodge pounded a kill and Glass recorded a solo block to put PSU within four points of a set one win. One kill from Glass and three straight by freshman Darcy Dorton (Muncie, Ind.) would earn the Nittany Lions a 25-13 set one victory.
Penn State took a 3-1 lead in the second set with two blocks and a Balza kill. However, Tiffany Fisher allowed Purdue to tie the set, 3-3, with two consecutive kills. Hodge gave Penn State its lead back with a kill, but Purdue's Ariel Turner answered right back with one of her own to tie it up one final time. Wilson gave the Nittany Lions the lead for good with a monster kill before teaming up with Glass for a block for a 6-4 lead. Purdue didn't let the Lions off easy working within one point on two occasions, but four Boilermaker errors and a Glass kill had Penn State leading, 13-6, and Purdue taking a timeout. After the break, Wilson recorded a service ace to move PSU ahead by eight, 14-6, but Arthurs fired back with a kill. The two squads traded points until another Purdue error and Hodge kill had Purdue calling a second timeout. The Nittany Lions went on to develop a double-digit advantage thanks to two Brown kills and a Purdue error. Purdue cut Penn State's lead to nine, 23-14, but it was too late for a comeback and Dorton closed out the set with a kill for a 25-15 win.
Purdue took only its second lead of the match on a PSU error to open the third set. However, that lead was shortlived as kills by Wilson and Brown and another Purdue error gave Penn State a 4-3 advantage soon after. A Brown ace gave the Nittany Lions some breathing room and junior Alyssa D'Errico set Brown for a kill for a 6-3 edge. Turner posted a kill for Purdue, but a huge kill by Hodge and a solo block by Glass had the Nittany Lions surging ahead and not looking back. By midpoint of the set, Penn State led 15-9 and only increased its lead to nine, 18-9, after a kill by Wilson and back-to-back aces by D'Errico. Errors, which had plagued the Boilermakers for most of the night, would doom them as the set wound down. Purdue registered three more before Glass and Balza joined forces for a block for a 25-15 third set win.
The Nittany Lions are back in action on Wednesday, Oct. 28 when they host Ohio State at 7 p.m. in Rec Hall. The match will air live on the Big Ten Network. Minnesota comes to town on Friday, Oct. 30 for a 7 p.m. meeting. The match between the Gophers and the Nittany Lions will be tape-delayed and aired on the Big Ten Network on Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. Live stats and live audio will be available for both matches via a link at GoPSUsports.com.