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Nov. 6, 2011
MADISON, Wis. - Despite fighting back to tie the match at 2-2, the sixth-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team (18-6, 11-3) suffered a 3-2 (24-26, 19-25, 34-32, 25-14, 12-15) loss to Big Ten foe Wisconsin Sunday afternoon. Three Nittany Lions posted double-digit kills in the match.
Sophomore Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) led the team with 23 kills, while sophomores Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) and Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) had 17 and 16, respectively. Freshman setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) had 60 assists and finished third on the team with 13 digs. Sophomore Ali Longo (Littleton, Colo.) had a team-best 17 digs, while McClendon was second on the squad with 16. Slay led the Lions at the net with six total blocks, as did freshman Nia Grant (Warren, Ohio), who also tallied six. McClendon was second on the team with five blocks, including three solo.
Penn State hit .212 against the Badgers and totaled 77 kills, four aces, 79 digs and 15.0 total team blocks. Wisconsin recorded a .173 hitting percentage and finished with 59 kills, two aces, 86 digs and 14.0 team blocks.
Wisconsin opened the match taking a 5-2 lead. The Lions continued to trail until a Scott kills and a block by Grant and Hancock had the score tied at 7-7. The score tied two more times before a Hancock kill and a Wisconsin error put the Nittany Lions in the lead by two, 11-9. Penn State maintained a slim lead through the middle of the set before a kill and a block from the Badgers knotted the score at 19-19. Slay put Penn State back in front with a kill, but a 3-0 Wisconsin run saw the Badgers taking a 22-20 lead. A Slay kill and a Penn State block had it at 22 all, but a PSU error and a kill by Wisconsin's Bailey Reshel had the Badgers at set point, 24-22. Scott kept the set alive with a kill and a Wisconsin error had the score at 24-24. Alexis Mitchell put down a kill putting the Badgers at set point once again, 25-24, before a PSU error closed out set one for Wisconsin, 26-24.
Penn State took a 4-1 lead in set two, but a 4-0 Badger run had Wisconsin ahead by one, 5-4. The teams traded points briefly before a 3-0 Wisconsin run had the Badgers leading by two, 10-8. The Nittany Lions continued to trail through the midpoint of the set and Wisconsin worked its way up to a five point advantage, 19-14, when Penn State called a timeout. The timeout failed to slow the Badgers whose lead grew to seven, 21-14. The Nittany Lions managed to cut the gap to five as the set began to wind down, but with a 24-19 lead Reshel put down a kill to secure set two for the Badgers.
The Badgers leapt out to a 4-0 lead, but a 6-2 Penn State run had the score tied at 6-6. The score tied eight times with the lead changing hands four times before Wisconsin went up by two, 16-14. Penn State fought back to tie it at 17-17, but a PSU error and a Reshel kill had Wisconsin in the lead, 19-17. A Wisconsin error put Penn State within one, 19-18, but back-to-back kills from Courtney Thomas has the Badgers with a three-point lead, 21-18. After a Penn State timeout, Scott pounded a kill for the Nittany Lions. However, the Badgers went back up by three with a kill, 22-19. Scott put away another kill for Penn State and a bad set by the Badgers had the PSU trailing by only one, 22-21. An attack error by the Badgers knotted the score at 22-22 and Wisconsin called a timeout. Penn State grabbed a slim 23-22 lead on a Wisconsin attack error, but a kill from Ellen Chapman and a PSU error put the Badgers at set point, 24-23. Two straight Penn State kills put the Lions in the lead, 25-24, but Penn State wasn't able to put the set away just yet. The teams continued their back and forth play until a Hancock kill and a Wisconsin error gave Penn State the win, 34-32.
Penn State went up 4-1 to start the fourth frame, but Wisconsin closed the gap to two, 7-5. A 5-0 run by the Lions, including two aces by Grant, had Penn State with a comfortable 12-5 lead. The Badgers fought to within five, 14-9, but soon after Penn State was leading by nine, 19-10. The Lions maintained control, but two straight blocks brought the Badgers within six, 20-14, and Penn State called a timeout. Two kills and a solo block by McClendon had the Lions with a nine-point advantage, 23-14. Hancock put the Nittany Lions at set point, 24-14, before a joint stuff by Slay and Hancock gave Penn State a 25-14 victory.
Wisconsin went up 4-2 to start the fifth set. Reshel pounded a kill to move the Badgers ahead by three, 5-2. Despite a kill from Scott, two Reshel kills pushed Wisconsin up by four, 7-3. A big Badger block made it 8-3 in favor of the Badgers and Penn State called a timeout. Despite an attack error, a Scott kill and a Grant block had the Lions within four, 9-5. Another Badger block pushed Wisconsin ahead by five, 10-5, and Penn State called a second timeout. The teams traded points with Penn State closing the gap to three, 12-9, with a McClendon kill and a Wisconsin error. Wisconsin registered a kill, but Scott put one away to keep Penn State within three, 13-10, and send Wisconsin to the bench. Wisconsin notched a kill to make it match point, but Scott tallied two straight kills to put Penn State within two, 14-12. Wisconsin closed out the set with a kill, 15-12.
Penn State is back in action at nationally-ranked Illinois on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. before taking on Northwestern at 8 p.m. on Nov. 12.
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.