No. 1 Penn State Makes it 88 Straight with 3-0 Thumping of No. 7 Minnesota
Oct. 30, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Behind a superb effort by senior Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) who recorded a match-high 19 kills, the No. 1 Penn State women's volleyball team (24-0, 12-0) secured a 3-0 (25-14, 25-16, 25-17) victory against No. 7 Minnesota (17-6, 8-3) for its 88th consecutive match win. The Nittany Lions are now tied for fourth place for Division I NCAA winning streaks with the UCLA men's basketball team coached by John Wooden, which won 88 straight games from 1971-1974.
Penn State also extended two other streaks Friday night. The Nittany Lions have now won 68 straight matches in the confines of Rec Hall, as well as 57 straight Big Ten matches.
In addition to Hodge, who attacked a .429 clip for the night, freshman Darcy Dorton (Muncie, Ind.) tallied eight kills on .636 hitting. Junior Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) also posted eight kills against the Gophers. Senior setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) dished out 36 assists and guided the Nittany Lion offense to a .341 attack percentage. On defense, junior Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) registered a match-high six total blocks and junior Cathy Quilico (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) led the team in digs with 12.
Penn State posted 40 kills, three aces, 37 digs and 9.0 total team blocks. The Gophers were held to a meager .011 hitting percentage, 24 kills, two aces and 7.0 total team blocks.
Hodge tallied the first of her 19 kills to open the match before a Minnesota attack error gave Penn State a 2-0 lead. Megan Wilson put the Gophers on the board with a kill, but the Nittany Lions would maintain control of the lead for the entirety of the set. Penn State started to break away early on as kills from Wilson and Brown had the Lion leading by four, 9-5. Back-to-back Hodge kills and a block by Hodge and junior Fatima Balza (Merida, Venezuela) had PSU leading by five, 12-7, and Minnesota taking a timeout. Following the timeout, Glass served seven points in a row to give Penn State a double-digit lead, 19-7. A kill from Hailey Cowles cut off the Penn State run and three Lion errors brought the Gophers within nine, 20-11. A kill by Brown, two from Dorton and one from Glass would give Penn State a 25-14 first set win.
A Minnesota error had the Nittany Lions tallying the first point of the second set. A kill by Gopher Lauren Gibbemeyer tied it early, 1-1, but the Lions went on to post five consecutive points for a 6-1 lead. Minnesota's Wilson stopped Penn State with a kill and two PSU errors have the Gophers within one, 6-5. The Gophers continued to challenge the Lions, but were unable to tie the score and take the lead. Dorton notched a kill before Minnesota recorded five errors to give Penn State a 16-9 advantage. Minnesota's Mia Tabberson posted a kill, but Hodge prevented the Gophers from building any momentum with a kill of her own to keep Penn State ahead by seven, 17-10. Soon after, Hodge posted three kills in a row with a Minnesota timeout mixed in that proved fruitless in stopping Penn State. Despite Minnesota registering four straight points, the Lions closed out the set, 25-16, after a kill and an ace from Hodge and two Gopher errors.
Penn State took a 5-1 lead to start the third and final set of the match before Minnesota fought to within one, 5-4, after a kill by Gibbemeyer and two blocks. The two squads remained close for the first part of the frame with a PSU error allowing the Gophers to tie the set at 14-14. A Minnesota service error gave Penn State a slim 15-14 lead. Kills from Brown and Dorton and two Gopher errors sent Minnesota to the bench as the Nittany Lions were up by five, 19-14. After the timeout, Dorton slammed back-to-back kills to increase Penn State's advantage to seven, 21-14. Brown and Wilson would tally kills before a block from Wilson and Glass earned Penn State a 25-17 set three win and the squad's 88th straight win.
Penn State is back in action on Nov. 6 in a 7 p.m. (CT) match at Wisconsin. From there, the Nittany Lions travel to Iowa for a 7 p.m. (CT) match on Nov. 7. The Nittany Lions are back at home on the weekend of Nov. 13 for matches with Illinois and Northwestern.