No. 1 Penn State Women's Volleyball Sweeps Siena In NCAA First Round
Dec. 1, 2007
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., Nov. 30, 2007 - The top-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team swept Siena (30-19, 30-11, 30-14) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Rec Hall Friday night. The Nittany Lions improve to 29-2 while the Saints end their season at 24-8. Penn State will face Albany on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7:00 p.m. at Rec Hall in the NCAA Second Round for the right to advance to the NCAA Regional semifinal next weekend at Rec Hall. The Great Danes defeated Cleveland State in three games (30-20, 30-20, 30-25) in the first match Friday.
"We certainly had a good match offensively," said head coach Russ Rose. "It's always tough for some teams to play a first round match against someone so different. Siena had a great season and represented their conference well, we were just too much at the net."
Sophomore outside hitter Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) led all players with 17 kills on a season-high .714 hitting as junior outside hitter Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) added in 11 kills. Redshirt sophomore opposite Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) notched six kills on .556 hitting as junior middle hitter Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.), freshman middle hitter Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) and sophomore setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) all contributed four kills on more than .429 hitting. As a team, Penn State attacked at a .514 clip while limiting Siena to hitting -.057.
Glass directed the offense with 39 assists as junior libero Roberta Holehouse (Joppa, Md.) led all players with 12 digs and Glass and Hodge each added in four.
Penn State dominated the blocking game, racking up 17 team blocks in the contest. Fawcett produced a career-high 11 blocks as Harmotto notched seven, Glass posted six and Wilson notched five.
Aubrey Bobo led the Saints with seven kills as Burgandy McCurty recorded six kills and Nadiege Honore tallied five kills. April London dished out 18 assists and Kathi Kobayashi topped the defense with six digs. Honore led the team with three blocks.
Penn State grabbed the 16-9 lead on a triple block from Fawcett, Harmotto and Glass and went up 19-12 on a Hodge kill. Two Brown kills and consecutive Holehouse service aces pushed the lead to 24-14 and three consecutive kills from Hodge and Glass made it 26-17 before a Fawcett kill and a Glass and Wilson block ended the game, 30-19. Hodge posted six kills in the stanza.
The Nittany Lions picked up where they left off, jumping out to the 10-4 lead on a Fawcett and Wilson block. Another block, this one from Harmotto and Hodge, pushed the score to 14-6 and two Hodge kills coupled with back to back blocks, one from Fawcett, Harmotto and Glass and another from Harmotto and Glass, extended the lead to 22-8. Consecutive Glass kills and a Wilson put-away made it 25-9 before a Brown kill ended the game, 30-11. Hodge connected on all six of her swings as the Lions hit .583 in the game.
A Hodge kill put Penn State ahead 15-9 in the third game and consecutive blocks made it 18-9. Three straight Siena errors and a Fawcett and Melissa Walbridge (Yardley, Pa.) extended the lead to 23-12. Kills from Fawcett, Brown, Hodge and Harmotto along with a Holehouse service ace ended the game, 30-14. Fawcett posted five kills in the game and hit .550.
Rec Hall will host one of four NCAA Regional Championships on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7-8. Friday's Regional semifinal matches are scheduled for 5:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., with the winners of each contest squaring off on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. live on ESPNU. The winners of each of the four NCAA Regionals travel to Sacramento, Calif., for the National Semifinals on Thursday, Dec. 13, with the National Championship match scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 15.