No. 7 Women's Volleyball Sweeps No. 25 Northwestern
Nov. 19, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The seventh-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team (25-4, 15-3 Big Ten) swept No. 25 Northwestern, 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-20), Friday night to extend their home-match winning streak to 90 consecutive matches. The Nittany Lions' streak is now tied for first place in NCAA Division I volleyball records with Nebraska.
On Senior Night, senior Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) led the Nittany Lions with 16 kills, while freshman Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) was second on the team with 15. Sophomore Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) dished out 39 assists, while senior Fatima Balza (Merida, Venezuela) had a team-best six total blocks, including three solo. Senior libero Alyssa D'Errico (Byron, N.Y.) had a match-high 18 digs and Brown finished second on the team with 10.
The Nittany Lions registered a .266 attack percentage, while Northwestern (18-10, 8-9 Big Ten) hit .151. Penn State totaled 46 kills, four aces, 58 digs and 8.0 total team blocks. The Wildcats finished the match with 30 kills, one ace, 42 digs and 11.0 team blocks.
Penn State opened the match taking a 4-1 lead, but a 3-1 Northwestern run had the Wildcats within one, 5-4. Northwestern was unable to tie the score and Penn State maintained at least a one-point edge until midway through the frame when a solo stuff by Balza and an NU error had Penn State ahead by four, 14-10. Kills by McClendon and Carpenter and an ace by freshman Ali Longo (Littleton, Colo.) had Penn State with a comfortable five-point advantage, 17-12, when Northwestern called its first timeout. Three straight PSU errors had the Wildcats within tow, 17-15, but a Balza kill pushed the Lions ahead by three, 18-15. The Wildcats fought to within one, 20-19, but PSU closed out the set with a 5-1 run for a 25-20 win. Brown had two blocks in the final push.
The second set started out close with the score tying five times before the Wildcats used a kill and block for a two-point lead, 7-5. NU maintained control of the lead until a 4-0 PSU run put the Lions in front by one, 10-9. A Northwestern block knotted the score at 10-10, but a kill by freshman Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) put the Nittany Lions back in front. By midway through the stanza PSU was ahead by three, 17-14, after back-to-back McClendon kills. Following a Wildcat timeout, Penn State's lead grew to five, 19-14 thanks to two straight blocks by McClendon and Balza. Northwestern managed to come within three, 20-17, but two Brown kills kept Penn State ahead by four, 22-18, when Northwestern called a timeout. Sabel Moffett and Elyse Glab put down a kill apiece to bring the Wildcats within two, 22-20, but kills from Brown, Scott and senior Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) secured set two for PSU, 25-20.
The third and final set began much like the second with neither team able to develop any momentum early on. Two straight NU errors and a McClendon kill had the Lions with a comfortable 9-6 lead. Northwestern kept it close, but two kills by Brown, an NU service error and a D'Errico ace had the Nittany Lions with a five-point advantage, 14-9. After a Northwestern timeout, Penn State's lead grew to seven, 19-12, forcing a second Wildcat break. The Wildcats managed to cut Penn State's lead to five, 20-15, but it was the closest they would come to tying the set. Two kills by Brown, one by Balza and another Longo ace closed out the match for Penn State.
For more information on the Penn State women's volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State women's volleyball 2010 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets and The Outlets at Hershey.