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Oct. 28, 2012
LINCOLN, Neb. - The No. 1 Penn State women's volleyball team (21-2, 11-1 Big Ten) suffered a 3-2 (25-12, 30-32, 25-19, 23-25, 10-15) setback to No. 4 Nebraska (18-3, 10-2 Big Ten). Penn State remains in first place in the Big ten with an 11-1 record.
Four Nittany Lions posted double-digit kills with junior Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) leading the way with a match-high 20. Junior Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) was second on the team with 19, freshman Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio) had 11 and junior Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) posted 10. Sophomore Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) dished out 61 assists, six kills and 13 dig. Three other Nittany Lions also had double-digit digs with sophomore Dominique Gonzalez (San Antonio, Texas) posting a career-high 29. McClendon recorded 19 digs and Courtney tallied 10. Hancock led all players with a personal-best eight blocks and Slay put up seven. Sophomore Nia Grant (Warren, Ohio) posted five blocks.
Penn State hit .237 and held Nebraska to a .171 hitting percentage. The Nittany Lions totaled 74 kills, two aces, 90 digs and 14.0 total team blocks. The Huskers finished the match with 63 kills, four aces, 94 digs and 11.0 team blocks.
The first set started out close, but Penn State was up by two, 7-5, after back-to-back Nebraska errors. A Husker kill and an ace tied it at 7-7, but two straight Penn State blocks made it 9-7 in favor of Penn State. Despite a kill from Husker Meghan Haggerty, a Nebraska error, a McClendon ace and a Scott kill had the Lions with a four-point lead, 12-8. Nebraska called a timeout and the teams returned trading points briefly until four Penn State kills and a joint stuff by Hancock and Slay saw the Lions leading by eight, 18-10. Despite another Nebraska timeout, the Nittany Lion lead grew to double-digits, 21-10, before the Huskers tallied points off a kill and a PSU error. Penn State moved to set point, 24-12, thanks to three more Husker errors before McClendon closed out the set with a kill, 25-12.
Nebraska took a 6-4 lead to start the second stanza, but an error and a kill and a block by PSU had the Lions leading 7-6. Hannah Werth tied it at 7-7 with a kill, but three straight Penn State kills put PSU up by three, 10-7. Penn State followed a Husker timeout with a 4-1 run for a 14-8 lead. Despite a kill from Hayley Thramer for Nebraska, another 4-1 PSU run had Penn State leading 18-10. Nebraska mounted an 8-1 run to close the gap to one, 19-18. A service error increased Penn State's lead to two, 20-18, but a kill and a block from the Huskers had the score knotted at 20-20. The score tied twice more before kills by Hancock and McClendon had the Lions with a 23-21 edge. Nebraska called a timeout, a McClendon kill had the Lions at set point, 24-22, but a 3-0 Husker run had Nebraska with a 25-24 lead. Penn State called a timeout and Grant pounded a kill to make it 25 all. The score tied three more times with Nebraska moving into set point, 29-28. Two consecutive Husker errors had the Nittany Lions at set point, 30-29. The Huskers fired back with a 3-0 run to take the set, 32-30.
Penn State grabbed a 5-2 lead to start the third stanza. The Nittany Lions advantage grew to five, 9-4, when Nebraska called a timeout. The Huskers fought to within two, 11-9, but McClendon sparked a 5-0 run to give the Lions a 16-9 lead. Nebraska worked to narrow the Penn State lead to four, 19-15, but three McClendon kills had Penn State with a 22-16 lead. The Huskers tallied three more points before another McClendon putdown secured set three, 25-19.
The Nittany Lions took a 6-4 lead early in set four. A double block by Slay and Hancock and a McClendon kill pushed PSU ahead 8-5. Nebraska called a timeout, but Penn State continued to maintain control. Penn State's lead grew to four, 10-6, with back-to-back McClendon kills. Service errors kept Nebraska within three until two PSU blocks had the Lions with a 13-8 lead. After a Husker timeout, Nebraska embarked on a 7-2 run to knot the score at 15-15 and force a Penn State timeout. The Huskers followed the timeout with a kill and a block for a two-point lead, 17-15. The Nebraska lead grew to three, 22-19, and Penn State called a timeout. Nebraska grabbed two of the next three points to be at set point, 24-20.Two Husker errors and a Hancock kill moved PSU within one, 24-23, but Haggerty closed out the set with a kill 25-23.
Kills from Scott and McClendon had the Lions with a 2-0 lead to start the fifth set. A 4-1 run by the Huskers had Nebraska with a slim 4-3 lead. Scott pounded a kill to tie it at 4-4, but two straight kills from Werth had NU with a 6-4 edge. Penn State used a timeout and two Nebraska errors had the score at six all. However, a block and a kill by the Huskers had Nebraska again with a two-point lead, 8-6. Nebraska's momentum continued to build and the Lions were soon trailing by five, 13-8. Scott put down two kills to move Penn State within four,k 14-10, but a PSU service error gave the Huskers a 15-10 win.
Penn State returns home to host Minnesota on Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. followed by Wisconsin on Nov. 4 at 2 p.m.
For more information on the Penn State women's volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com.' The Penn State women's volleyball 2012 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets.
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