No. 2 Women's Volleyball Defeats No. 17 Michigan
Nov. 1, 2013
Sophomore Megan Courtney propelled the Nittany Lions offense to victory with a career-high 17 kills, while seniors Ariel Scott and Deja McClendon also registered double digit kills. McClendon posted her sixth double-double of the season, recording 14 kills and 12 digs, adding one block and one ace. Scott tallied 11 kills, while also notching eight digs and four blocks.
Trailing early in the first frame after Michigan stormed out to an 8-0 lead, the Nittany Lions used a 3-1 spurt, featuring back-to-back kills from McClendon to climb within six, 9-3. The Wolverines answered with two kills before Penn State used another 3-1 streak, led by two consecutive kills from Courtney to trim the advantage back to six, 12-6.
Two points later, the Nittany Lions continued chipping away at the U-M lead, using a 3-0 strike to move within five, 14-9. Michigan responded with three quick points to bolster the lead to eight, 17-9, forcing Penn State to use its second timeout of the set. Following the break, McClendon attempted to spark some momentum with a kill, but the Nittany Lions were unable to put together a run.
Down by nine, 22-13, Penn State delivered another 3-1 streak, led by two consecutive kills from redshirt sophomore Aiyana Whitney to make it 23-16. Two PSU attack errors handed the Wolverines a 1-0 lead in the match, as Michigan took set one, 25-16.
Grant and Scott broke open a 4-all tie in the second set with two consecutive kills to lift the Nittany Lions ahead, 6-4. U-M responded with a kill to cut into the offensive rhythm, but Penn State answered with a 3-1 streak to move ahead by three, 9-6. Later in the stanza, the Wolverines managed to jump within one, 13-12, before firing a kill to knot the frame, 13-13.
Both teams tied up the set four more times before Hancock smacked a kill and then paired up with Slay for a block to bring Penn State up by two, 19-17. McClendon and Courtney followed with another block to make it 20-17, before Michigan narrowed the gap to one, 20-19 with two consecutive kills. McClendon and Scott pounded a pair of kills each to move PSU ahead, 22-19, but a Nittany Lion error and a U-M ace quickly brought the Wolverines back within one, 22-21. With Michigan remaining just one point away from tying the frame, 23-22, Courtney registered a kill and a solo stuff to seal a 25-22 win in favor of the Nittany Lions tying the match, 1-1.
Following the intermission, Penn State charged out to a 6-1 lead in the third set, helped out by kills from Scott, McClendon and Slay. The Wolverines cut into the cushion with a 3-0 run, but Scott and Courtney teamed up for a pair of back-to-back kills to bring the lead back to four, 8-4. The Wolverines fought within one, 10-9, before they used a 4-1 streak to capture a two-point advantage, 13-11.
Regrouping, Penn State embarked on an 11-3 run to take control of a six-point lead, 22-16. The Nittany Lions capitalized on six Michigan attack errors during the streak. Rallying, the Wolverines delivered a 4-1 burst to shave the Nittany Lions lead to three, 23-20, forcing PSU to call timeout. After the break, Scott smashed a kill and Hancock followed with a solo stuff to secure set three, 25-20.
Tied 2-2 in the fourth set, Penn State used a 4-0 run, capped off by three consecutive kills from Courtney to move ahead, 6-2. Midway through the set, Michigan battled within three, 13-10, but the Nittany Lions held off UM with kills from Scott and Hancock and an ace from Grant, 17-12. Three points later, Penn State used a 4-0 stretch to surge ahead by as many as eight, 22-14. The Wolverines ended the streak with two consecutive kills, but Scott and Courtney combined for the next two back-to-back kills to end the match with a 25-16 win in set four for the victory.
Next up, Penn State travels to Michigan State to take on the 14th-ranked Spartans at 8:30 p.m. in East Lansing. The match will broadcast live on the Big Ten Network with Mike Wolf and Audrey Flaugh on the call.