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Nov. 28, 2008
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The top-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team swept Ohio State in three games (25-20, 25-12, 30-28) Friday night in Columbus, Ohio. The Nittany Lions improve to 31-0 and 19-0 in the Big Ten while the Buckeyes fall to 12-19 and 3-16 in league action.
Three Lion players reached double-digit kills as senior outside hitter Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) led the way with 13 kills, junior outside hitter Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) pounded 12 kills and sophomore middle hitter Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) fell just shy of her season-high with 11 kills on .625 hitting. Senior middle hitter Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) posted eight kills on .538 hitting as sophomore opposite Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) notched six kills on .455 hitting. As a team, Penn State attacked at a .463 clip.
Junior setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) dished out 48 assists and added in four kills on four attacks. Senior libero Roberta Holehouse (Joppa, Md.) led all players with nine digs as Fawcett posted eight and Hodge added in seven.
Penn State recorded six blocks in the match, led by Wilson with five and Brown and Hodge with two apiece. Holehouse and sophomore Alyssa D'Errico (Byron, N.Y.) recorded one service ace apiece for the Lions.
The first set stayed close early, with a Brown kill giving Penn State the
8-6 lead and a solo Wilson block and a Hodge kill making it 10-7. A Fawcett put-away put the Lions ahead 13-11 and two Wilson kills helped put Penn State ahead 15-13. A Harmotto kill aided the Lions in taking the 19-16 advantage before a Fawcett kill and a Glass and Wilson block extended the score to 21-17. Out of a Buckeye timeout, the teams traded points three times and a Wilson slide kill putting the Lions ahead 24-20, before a Fawcett kill out of the backrow ended the game, 25-20. Wilson led the squad with five kills on .714 hitting in the stanza.
Lion kills from Harmotto and Brown along with a Wilson and Hodge block put Penn State up 6-4 in the second game. A Holehouse ace, two Ohio State errors and a Harmotto slide kill pushed the Lion lead to 13-6. Out of a Buckeye timeout, a Fawcett kill out of the backrow sparked Penn State to score four of the next six points to pull ahead 17-8. Lion kills from Glass and Fawcett, along with a Glass and Brown double block, extended the advantage to 20-9 before a Brown kill and a Wilson overpass bomb pushed the lead to 22-11. A Brown and Wilson block, a Hodge kill off the block and a Hodge and Harmotto block ended the set for Penn State, 25-12. Brown provided four kills for Penn State as Fawcett and Hodge each added in two and Glass, Wilson and Harmotto posted two apiece. As a team, the Lions attacked at a .481 clip while holding the Buckeyes to hitting .062 in the game.
Penn State grabbed the 6-3 lead in the third game behind a D'Errico ace and kills from Glass, Wilson and Fawcett. A Brown kill made it 9-5 but the Buckeyes pulled within one at 9-8 on consecutive kills and a block. The teams exchanged points before Ohio State knotted the game at 11-11 on an ace. Following a Fawcett kill, the Buckeyes went on to score the next three points to pull ahead 14-12. A Fawcett kill halted the run but Ohio State continued the pressure with three consecutive kills to take the 17-13 lead.
Once again a Fawcett kill stopped the streak and a Buckeye attack error pulled the Lions within two at 17-15. The teams exchanged points twice before an Ohio State block gave it the 20-17 lead. After another trading of points, a Hodge kill and Buckeye attack error trimmed the gap to 21-20. The teams traded kills and a Harmotto kill tied the game at 22-22. An Ohio State kill was quickly followed by another Harmotto kill before a Buckeye put-away put them ahead 24-23. Out of a Penn State timeout, a Fawcett kill evened the score at 24-24 and an Ohio State backrow attack into the tape put the Lions ahead 25-24. Following a Buckeye timeout, an Ohio State kill evened the score at 25-25 before a Wilson kill gave Penn State the 26-25 lead. A Lion error along with a Hodge kill made it 27-26 but two Ohio State kills swung the momentum to the Buckeyes and gave them the 28-27 lead. A monster Hodge kill tied the score at 28-28 and she continued to be hot, pounding the last two kills of the game to give Penn State the game, 30-28.
Penn State closes out the regular season at Michigan on Saturday, Nov. 29 at 6:00 p.m. ET in a contest that will air live on the Big Ten Network. The Nittany Lions then await the NCAA Tournament selection show, which airs live on ESPNU on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 10:00 p.m. ET.
For more information on the Penn State women's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State women's volleyball 2008 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets and The Outlets At Hershey.