No. 1 Penn State Defeats Purdue, 3-1
Nov. 20, 2009
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The top-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team clinched at least a share of the 2009 Big Ten title with a 3-1 (29-31, 25-17, 25-17, 25-20) victory against Purdue (12-16, 4-13). Penn State has now won 93 straight matches and is now in sole possession of second place among all Division I winning streaks. A defeat of Indiana on Saturday would give Penn State its 13th overall and seventh consecutive outright Big Ten title.
Senior Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) led all players with 24 kills. She now has 2,009 kills and is only the second Penn State to reach 2,000 kills in her career. Junior Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) and freshman Darcy Dorton (Muncie, Ind.) also tallied double-digit kills with 10 apiece. Senior setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) paced the Nittany Lion offense with 48 assists and also finished second on the team with 11 digs.
Junior Fatima Balza (Merida, Venezuela) was a wall at the net with a match-high eight total blocks, while junior Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) finished the night with six. Junior libero Alyssa D'Errico (Byron, N.Y.) led the team with a career-high tying 18 saves.
Penn State attacked at a .306 clip, while holding the Boilermakers to just .119. The Lions finished the match with 61 kills, 5 assists, two aces, 50 digs and 13.5 total team blocks. Purdue totaled 48 kills, 43 assists, one ace, 43 digs and 10.0 team blocks.
Despite Purdue tallying the first point of the night, Glass set Balza for a kill that ricocheted off the arm of a Boilermaker putting the Lions on the board. Purdue took a two-point lead, 5-3, after a kill by Carrie Gurnell and PSU error, but a Hodge kill and a Boilermaker error had the teams tied at 5-5. Wilson gave Penn State its first lead with an ace, 6-5. The two squads traded points until Penn State went on a four-point run for its largest lead of the set, 16-13. Purdue worked to within one, 16-15, but an error and Brown kill had Penn State leading, 18-15. The Nittany Lions maintained at least a two-point lead until a PSU service error and another Gurnell kill had the Boilermakers within one, 22-21. After a Penn State timeout, Hodge notched a kill for a two-point edge. However, a Gurnell kill and a PSU error had the set tied, 23-23. Hodge put Penn State in set-point position with a kill, but a kill from Ariel Turner and a Purdue stuff had the Boilermakers leading 25-24. The two teams went back and forth until a Kristen Arthurs kill and block by Turner and Tiffany Fisher gave the Boilermakers a 31-29 first set win.
The second set was close early, until a Wilson kill and a stuff by Glass and Wilson gave Penn State a 7-5 edge. Following a 6-2 Penn State run, the Nittany Lions led 16-10. Two PSU errors had Purdue within four, 16-12, but the Lions posted three straight points for a 19-12 lead. Two kills by Hodge, one each from Dorton and Glass and another block by Wilson and Glass gave Penn State a convincing 25-17 set two win. Penn State hit .483 in set two, as opposed to the .275 attack percentage it registered in set one.
The Nittany Lions jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the third set thanks to kills from Hodge and Glass and an ace by Glass. Back-to-back stuffs by Balza and Brown increased Penn State's lead to five, 8-3. Following a Purdue timeout, the Boilermakers managed to stay within five until an 8-1 Penn State run had PSU's lead in double-digits, 19-8. Hodge and Wilson each had two kills in the run. Two Lion errors cut Penn State's lead to single-digits, but another Hodge kill and a Boilermaker error had Penn State back ahead by 11, 21-10. Purdue worked within seven, 24-17, but Wilson closed out the third set for Penn State with a kill.
A solo stuff by Turner had Purdue on the board first in the fourth set, but a monster Wilson kill and a Purdue error had Penn State in the lead, 2-1. A PSU error and an Arthurs kill put Purdue back in front, 3-2. The Nittany Lions capitalized off three Boilermaker errors and kills by Glass and Hodge for an 8-3 advantage. Two kills by Purdue had the Boilermaker within four, 9-5. By midpoint of the set, the Lions led 15-8 and Purdue took a timeout. Penn State increased its lead to eight, 19-11. The Boilermakers went on a four-point run to come within three, 23-19, thanks to two PSU errors, two Purdue kills and a Boilermaker stuff. Kills by Brown and Hodge closed out the set for Penn State, 25-20.
Penn State is back in action tomorrow night at Indiana at 7 p.m. Live stats will be available via a link at GoPSUsports.com.
For more information on the Penn State women's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State women's volleyball 2009 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets and The Outlets At Hershey.