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Sophomore Nia Grant posted a match-high four blocks.
Nov. 30, 2012
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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 1 seed Penn State women's volleyball team (30-2) advanced to the NCAA Second Round with a 3-0 (25-11, 25-3, 25-9) win against Binghamton (13-18). The Nittany Lions face Bowling Green on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Rec Hall. Bowling Green defeated Yale in the other First Round match, 3-2.
SINGLE SESSION tickets are available at Rec Hall on Saturday and are $8 for adults, $6 for youth and students and $5 for groups. The first 300 students with valid ID will be admitted for free.
The Nittany Lions had an outstanding night offensively with a balanced offensive attack. Junior Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) posted a match-high 12 kills with no errors in 15 attempts for a .800 hitting percentage. Sophomore Nia Grant (Warren, Ohio) pounded nine kills on .500 hitting and junior Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) tallied eight with a .571 hitting percentage. Sophomore Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) had a record-breaking night with a career-high and school record 10 aces. She also dished out 33 assists and was second on the team with six digs. Sophomore libero Dominique Gonzalez (San Antonio, Texas) had a match-best 12 digs and Grant led the team in blocks with four.
The Nittany Lions hit an impressive .587 hitting percentage. Penn State totaled 40 kills, 12 aces, 29 digs and 6.0 team blocks. Binghamton recorded a -.075 hitting percentage with 15 kills, one ace, 16 digs and 1.0 team blocks.
The match started out close with Penn State only taking a two-point lead in the first set, 7-5. The Lion lead grew to four, 9-5, after kills from Hancock and Grant, but the Bearcats moved back to within two, 10-8, after a PSU error and a Megan Burgess kill. Penn State took off on a 5-0 run with two kills by Scott and two from Grant for a 15-8 advantage. Despite a PSU service error, two kills and an ace had the Lions with a nine-point lead, 18-9. Binghamton took a timeout, but Penn State's run continued with two Bearcat errors and kills from Scott and freshman Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio). The Bearcats grabbed two more points before Slay and McClendon each pounded a kill to take set one, 25-11.
In set two, McClendon opened with a kill on a Binghamton serve. Up next at the service line was Hancock who tallied three straight aces before two more McClendon kills for a 6-0 Penn State lead. After a Binghamton timeout, Scott, Grant and McClendon put down a kill apiece along with two more Hancock aces for a 12-0 advantage. Six straight Binghamton errors had the Lions leading 19-0 and the Bearcats used their second timeout. Hancock, having served 18 straight points, made it to 21 before an error turned the ball over to Binghamton. Her 21 straight serves was just one shy of the NCAA record for consecutive serves, which is 22. Amanda Dettman tallied an ace for Binghamton, but a Scott kill had Penn State with 22-2 lead. Binghamton managed one final point before a Courtney putdown and two Bearcat error had Penn State with a 25-3 win.
Penn State had another strong start in the third frame with Hancock posting 14 serves in a row helping Penn State to a convincing 13-1 lead. McClendon had two kills in the run, while Scott, Grant and senior Marika Racibarskas (Chatham, N.J.) each notching one. After a Binghamton service error, the Bearcats put down two kills in a row to be within 11, 14-3. The teams went back and forth with scoring, but Penn State held on to its formidable lead and was up by 13, 19-6, heading into the final stretch. Iva Partaleva pounded a kill for Binghamton before two more Hancock aces had the Lions leading, 22-7. Binghamton registered a kill and a block for their final two points before McClendon and Racibarskas closed out the set with a kill each for a 25-9 win.
The winner of the Penn State first and second round NCAA site will advance to the West Lafayette, Ind. Regional on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7-8 at Purdue's Mackey Arena. The Penn State site winner will play the site winner from Lexington, Ky., which features Ohio State, Notre Dame, East Tennessee State and No. 16 seed Kentucky. The other Regional Semifinal match will feature the Tallahassee, Fla. site winner (No. 9 Florida State, Hofstra, Colorado State and Purdue) and the Minneapolis, Minn. site winner (No. 8 Minnesota, Liberty, Marquette and Creighton).
The winners from each of the four Regional sites (West Lafayette, Ind., Omaha, Neb., Austin, Texas and Berkeley, Calif.) advance to the NCAA National Semifinals, which will be held on Thursday, Dec. 13 in the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. The National Championship match is set for Saturday, Dec. 15.
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.
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