No. 2 Penn State Wins 15th Big Ten Title
Nov. 16, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The No. 2 Penn State women's volleyball team earned a 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-22) win against Indiana Friday night. The win secured Penn State's 15th Big Ten title since joining the league for the 1991 season. The win secures an automatic berth into the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
The win marks Penn State's ninth conference title in the last 10 years, including an unprecedented eight straight from 2003-10. Every senior class since 1992 has graduated with at least one conference crown. This year's senior class will leave with three.
Junior Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) posted a team-best 12 kills on .417 hitting. Junior Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) had 11 kills and freshman Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio) posted seven. Sophomore Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) dished out 35 assists and tied for first on the team with eight digs with sophomore Dominique Gonzalez (San Antonio, Texas). Sophomore Nia Grant (Warren, Ohio) was a wall at the net with eight total blocks, including three solo. Junior Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) tallied five and Scott put up four.
Penn State hit .452 against the Hoosiers (12-17, 4-13 Big Ten). The Nittany Lions totaled 44 kills, five aces, 34 digs and 13.0 total team blocks. Indiana hit .141 with 38 kills, four aces, 29 digs and 2.0 team blocks.
The first set was close until a 5-0 Penn State run had the Lions with a 10-4 lead. Indiana called a timeout, but Penn State maintained control with the help of a kill and an ace from Courtney to make it 13-6. Despite an Indiana kill, McClendon sparked a 10-1 Nittany Lion run for a convincing 23-9 advantage. Penn State tallied two blocks during the run as McClendon, Scott and Courtney all tallied kills. A kill from Indiana's Jordan Haverly started a short 4-0 run by the Hoosiers, but a Scott putdown had the Lions at set point, 24-12. Grant closed out set one with a kill for a 25-12 win.
Two joint stuffs from McClendon and Grant and a Hancock ace helped Penn State to a 4-0 lead to start the second frame. After a Hoosier kill, Penn State registered three kills to move ahead by six, 8-2. Haverly putdown a kill for the Hoosiers, but Penn State scored three straight points for an 11-3 lead. Indiana managed to close the gap to six, 15-9, but a McClendon kill and a solo stuff by Grant had the Lions leading by eight, 17-9. Penn State's lead grew to 10, 23-13. However, Indiana score four unanswered points to move within six, 23-17, and Penn State called a timeout. A Slay kill had the Lions at set point, 24-17. Samantha Thrower put down a kill, but McClendon pounded a kill to secure set two for Penn State, 25-17.
The Nittany Lions fell behind, 4-1, in set three, but two Scott kills and one from Slay helped the Lions knot the score at 6-6. The Hoosiers answered with a 3-0 run for a 9-6 edge, but two more Slay putdowns and a solo block by Slay had PSU within one, 10-9. The Nittany Lions kept it close and finally moved ahead 16-14. Penn State's lead grew to four, 19-15, and the Hoosiers called a timeout. The break slowed PSU's momentum and the Hoosiers posted three straight kills to narrow the gap to one, 19-18. Penn State called a timeout and used a 3-1 run to take a 22-19 lead. Indiana used its second timeout and moved to within one, 22-21. The Hoosiers tied it up at 22-22, but an error allowed Penn State to move back into the lead, 23-22. Scott followed with a kill to put Penn State at set point, 24-22. Grant and Scott teamed up for a block to give Penn State a 25-22 third set win.
Penn State is back in action on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. The Nittany Lions face No. 21 Purdue in Mackey Arena. Penn State closes out the regular season at home with matches against Ohio State on Nov. 21 and Michigan State on Nov. 24.
For more information on the Penn State women's volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com.' The Penn State women's volleyball 2012 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets.
The Penn State women's volleyball team is on Twitter and Facebook. Follow us @PennStateVBALL and at www.facebook.com/pennstatewomensvolleyball.