No. 7 Penn State Earns Big Ten Title!
Nov. 26, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The seventh-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team swept Iowa, 3-0 (25-18-25-13, 25-20), Friday afternoon to claim its 14th overall and eighth consecutive outright Big Ten title. Penn State closes out the regular season Saturday at No. 15 Minnesota at 9:30 p.m. ET.
Penn State's streak of eight consecutive outright Big Ten titles is unprecedented within the league in women's volleyball. Every senior class since 1992 has graduated with at least one conference crown. This year's senior class is the sixth senior class to leave Penn State with four Big Ten Championships.
Three Nittany Lions posted double-digit kills with senior Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) leading the way with 17. Freshman Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) was second on the team with 13 and senior Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) tallied 10. Sophomore Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) dished out 42 assists and was third on the team with 11 digs. Senior libero Alyssa D'Errico (Byron, N.Y.) led the team with 18 digs, while Brown had 13 and senior Cathy Quilico (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) had 12.
Penn State attacked at a .364 clip and held the Hawkeyes to .149. The Nittany Lions totaled 53 kills, three aces, 66 digs and 2.0 team blocks. Iowa posted 31 kills, three aces, 56 digs and 2.0 team blocks.
The Hawkeyes took a 4-2 lead to start the match after a PSU service error, an ace and a kill by Rachael Bedell. Iowa maintained a slim lead until a Wilson kill and Quilico ace had the score tied at 6-6. It wasn't until an Iowa attack error and back-to-back Brown kills that Penn State moved ahead taking a 10-8 lead. Backy Walters pounded a kill for the Hawkeyes, but Brown answered back with another kill to keep Penn State up by two, 11-9. After a PSU error, two kills by Scott had Penn State leading by three, 13-10. After an Iowa timeout, Penn State maintained the lead and used a 3-0 run to increase the gap to five, 18-13. Iowa called a second timeout, and cut Penn State's lead to three, 18-15. However, a McClendon kill and an Iowa attack error had the Lions back up by five, 20-15. The teams traded points as the set began to wind down and it was Brown who secured set one for PSU with three kills for a 25-18 win.
The Nittany Lions leapt out to a 4-1 lead to start the second frame thanks to two kills by Brown and a Carpenter ace. The Hawkeyes fought to within one, but Penn State maintained the lead and used a 3-0 run for a 10-6 advantage. Wilson and McClendon each had a kill during the short run. After an Iowa timeout, Mallory Husz put down a kill for the Hawkeyes to put Iowa within three, 10-7. A 5-0 run by PSU, including three straight McClendon kills, had Penn State leading by eight, 15-7, and Iowa using its second timeout. The timeout failed to faze the Nittany Lions as two more McClendon kills and an Iowa error had the PSU's lead in double-digits, 18-8. McClendon, on a run of her own pounded two more kills, while Brown and Scott each had one to push Penn State to a 21-9 lead. The Hawkeyes managed four additional points before Wilson closed out the set for Penn State with a kill for a convincing 25-13 win.
The third set started out close with neither team developing a substantial lead. With the score knotted at 10-10, Penn State earned its largest lead of the set with a 5-1 run, 15-11. The Hawkeyes fought back within one, 15-14, but kills by Wilson, Carpenter and McClendon had Penn State back up by four, 18-14, and Iowa calling a timeout. Iowa cut PSU's advantage to two, 19-17, but a McClendon kill kept Penn State in front by three, 20-17. Bedell put Iowa back within two, 20-18, with a kill, but a block by senior Fatima Balza (Merida, Venezuela) and McClendon kept the Nittany Lion comfortably ahead by three, 21-18. Despite a PSU service error, an Iowa attack error and a Brown kill had Penn State just two points shy of the match victory. A Hawkeye error put the Nittany Lions in set point position and Brown closed out the set with a kill for a 25-20 win.
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.