No. 8 Women's Volleyball Upsets No. 1 Nebraska, 3-1
Oct. 29, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The eighth-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team (17-5, 10-2 Big Ten) upset top-ranked Nebraska (18-2, 11-1 Big Ten) Saturday night, 3-1 (25-17, 25-15, 17-25, 25-17) in front of a packed house at Rec Hall. It was Penn State's second win against a top five team this season. Penn State is 6-4 against top 25 teams in 2011.
Sophomore Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) led all players with 18 kills, while sophomore Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) was second on the team with 12. Freshman setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) dished out 35 assists and had a match-high six aces. Sophomore libero Ali Longo (Littleton, Colo.) had a match-high 17 digs and freshman Dominique Gonzalez (San Antonio, Texas) was second on the squad with 11. Sophomore Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) was a wall at the net with eight total blocks, while freshman Nia Grant (Warren, Ohio) posted five and McClendon had four.
Penn State registered a .194 attack percentage and finished the match with 49 kills, nine aces, 64 digs and 14.0 total team blocks. The Huskers hit .116 and had 42 kills, one ace, 56 digs and 8.0 team blocks.
The Nittany Lions wasted no time taking control in set one as Penn State grabbed a 6-2 lead and forced a Nebraska timeout. Penn State's lead grew to six, 8-2, with two Hancock aces before two errors had the Huskers within four, 8-4. Two Nebraska errors put the Lions back in the lead by six, 10-4, before a kill from Gina Mancuso and an ace from Lara Dykstra put Nebraska within four, 10-6. Slay sparked a 7-2 Nittany Lion run for a 17-8 advantage. The Huskers answered back with a 4-0 run to close the gap to give and send Penn State to the bench. Nebraska followed the timeout with three straight errors to have Penn State up by eight, 20-12. The teams traded points for the remainder of the set before a solo stuff by Slay and a McClendon kill secured set one for PSU, 25-17.
Penn State went up 4-1 in set two before the Huskers managed to tie it up at 6-6. A Husker service error and an ace by junior Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) pushed Penn State ahead by two, 8-6, but two errors had the score knotted at 8-8. The score tied twice more before kills from McClendon and freshman Aiyana Whitney (Norwood, N.J.) had Penn State leading by two, 15-13. The Huskers tallied a kill before a 7-0 Penn State run had the Lions leading 22-14. Nebraska used both its timeouts during the run. The Huskers notched one final point off a PSU service error before kills from Whitney and Hancock and a Husker error gave Penn State a 2-0 lead in the match with a 25-15 second two win.
Set three was all Nebraska as the Huskers leapt out to a 5-2 lead to start and never gave up control. By midway through the set, Nebraska had a 10-point advantage, 16-6. McClendon pounded a kill to spark a 5-2 run to bring the Lions within seven, 19-12. After a Husker timeout, the teams went back and forth with Nebraska maintaining a seven-point lead, 22-15, when Penn State called a timeout. The Lions managed two final points, a kill from redshirt sophomore Darcy Dorton (Muncie, Ind.) and a kill from Grant, before Morgan Broekhuis closed out the set with a kill for a 25-17 win.
The Nittany Lions went up by four, 8-4, to start the fourth stanza forcing Nebraska to call an early timeout. The Huskers fought to within one, 12-11, before a McClendon kill and a PSU block had Penn State with a 14-11 lead. Despite two errors, kills from Slay and McClendon had Penn State maintaining control with a 17-13 lead when Nebraska called a second timeout. The Huskers were unable to come any closer than five points for the remainder of the match. With a 22-17 lead, the Nittany Lions closed out the set with a 3-0 run for a convincing 25-17 win.
Penn State is back in action on Nov. 4 at Minnesota before traveling to Wisconsin on Nov. 6. The Nittany Lions take on Minnesota at 9 p.m. ET and Wisconsin at 2 p.m. ET.
For more information on the Penn State women's volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State women's volleyball 2011 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets.