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Nov. 15, 2013
MADISON, Wisc. - Sophomore Megan Courtney led the No. 2 Penn State women's volleyball team (23-2, 14-1) to a straight-set victory (25-23, 27-25, 25-16) against No. 14 Wisconsin (19-8, 8-7) Friday evening. The Nittany Lion triumph extends the current PSU winning streak to 14 consecutive matches and marks the 18th Penn State sweep this season.
Courtney logged her fourth double-double of the season against the Badgers, registering a team-high 15 kills, adding 11 digs and two blocks. Junior Micha Hancock also notched a double-double, dishing out 32 assists and 12 digs, tallying two aces. Senior Deja McClendon joined the pair with double-digit digs, posting a match-high 15, while also adding eight kills. Senior Katie Slay led the blocking unit with eight blocks.
Penn State opened the match on a 5-1 run for an early lead, capped off by back-to-back blocks from Slay and Scott and Hancock's second ace of the match. The Badgers trimmed the lead back to two, 6-4, helped out by two Nittany Lion attack errors. PSU maintained a narrow advantage, despite pressure from Wisconsin. Pulling away, the Nittany Lions used a 4-0 streak, featuring two kills from Courtney to secure its largest lead of the frame, 19-12.
Charging back, the Badgers answered back with a 9-2 scoring streak to jump within one, 22-21. Unable to keep the attack alive, two errors from Wisconsin put sophomore Kendall Pierce at the line for set-point, 24-21. Following with two consecutive errors of their own, the Nittany Lions struggled to lock up the set. Courtney finished off a 25-23 win in the stanza with a kill to give Penn State a 1-0 lead in the match.
Both teams battled point-for-point in the first half of the second set, until Wisconsin broke open a 12-12 tie with a 3-0 spurt to grab a three-point lead 15-12. The Nittany Lions shaved the advantage to one, 15-14, with a block by Slay and McClendon followed by a solo stuff from Courtney. Penn State and Wisconsin continued trading the lead, tying the set seven more times until the Badgers connected on a kill to make it 24-23.
Rallying, Slay and Grant pounded a pair of consecutive kills to lift PSU to set-point, 25-24. A Penn State service ace thwarted the attempt, but a Wisconsin error after a kill from Scott sealed a 27-25 victory for the Lions.
Tied early in the third set, 3-3, the Badgers went on a 4-1 run to claim a 7-4 advantage. Courtney ended the streak with a kill, sparking a 4-2 strike that put Penn State within one, 9-8. With the score knotted, 10-all, PSU used a 3-1 strike to capture a two-point lead, 13-11. Wisconsin managed to cut the advantage to one, 14-13, but the Nittany Lions quickly tallied the next five consecutive points to extend the advantage to six, 19-13.
From there, Penn State did not look back, allowing the Badgers just three more points on the way to a 25-16 victory in the third set to complete the sweep.
Next up, Penn State travels to No. 11 Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers Saturday Nov. 16 at 8:30 p.m. ET. The match will broadcast live on the Big Ten Network with Mike Wolf and Audrey Flaugh on the call.