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Dec. 1, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 1 seed Penn State women's volleyball team (31-2) earned a spot in the NCAA Regional Semifinals of the 2012 NCAA Tournament with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-12, 25-15) sweep of Bowling Green (22-11). The Nittany Lions will face No. 16 seed Kentucky on Friday, Dec. 7 in West Lafayette, Ind. in Purdue's Mackey Arena. Purdue faces No. 8 seed Minnesota in the other regional semifinal.
Penn State improved to 51-3 in NCAA matches at Rec Hall with tonight's victory. Penn State is now 76-26 in NCAA Tournament matches. The Nittany Lions are making their 10th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Regional Semifinals.
Junior Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) led the Lions with eight kills with a .412 hitting percentage. Junior Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) and sophomore Nia Grant (Warren, Ohio) each posted seven kills. Sophomore Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) dished out 30 assists, and had five aces and eight digs. Freshman Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio) had a match-high nine digs and sophomore Dominique Gonzalez (San Antonio, Texas) recorded eight. Courtney and junior Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) had three blocks apiece.
The Nittany Lions attacked at a .329 clip and totaled 37 kills, 10 aces, 36 digs and 6.5 team blocks. The Falcons had a .000 hitting percentage with 18 kills, one ace, 30 digs and 3.0 team blocks.
Penn State took a 3-1 lead to start the match, but it wasn't until Courtney, Slay and Scott teamed up for a triple block that the Nittany Lions took off on a 5-0 run for a 12-5 lead. Bowling Green took a timeout and fought to within three, 14-11. The Falcons stayed within four until two errors and a Scott kill had the Lions leading by six, 20-14. BGSU used its second timeout, but another error, a double stuff by Hancock and Slay and a Hancock kill had Penn State leading by nine, 23-14. Danielle Tonyan put down a kill for BGSU, but Slay and McClendon each pounded a kill to give Penn State a 25-15 set one win.
The Nittany Lions jumped out to an 8-3 lead in the second stanza forcing an early Falcon timeout. Bowling Green narrowed the gap to three, 10-7, before two errors and a Hancock ace had the Lions ahead by five, 13-8. The squads traded points briefly and then Courtney pounded a kill and sophomore Lacey Fuller (San Diego, Calif.) had an ace for a seven-point Penn State lead, 17-10. Following a Falcon timeout, TonyanL and Penrod each put down a kill for BGSU's final points of the set. Five Penn State kills and an ace from freshman Kendall Pierce (Eden, N.Y.) secured set two for the Nittany Lions, 25-12.
Despite BGSU taking a 2-0 lead in the third frame, three straight Hancock aces had Penn State in front, 4-2. The Falcons kept it close and managed to tied the set at 10-10. However, a Hancock kill sparked a 9-1 run giving Penn State a convincing 19-11 lead. A Bowling Green timeout didn't faze the Lions as two kills from Grant and one from Scott had Penn State maintaining a comfortable lead, 21-13. Three PSU kills, including two by Slay, moved Penn State into match point position, 24-15. The Nittany Lions walked away with set three, 25-15, on a BGSU attack error.
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.