Penn State Advances to Second Round with 3-0 Sweep of Niagara
Dec. 3, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The fourth-seeded Penn State women's volleyball team (27-5) advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 3-0 (25-12, 25-19, 25-15) sweep of Niagara (25-9) Friday night. The match will air on the Big Ten Network tomorrow at 4:30 p.m.
The Nittany Lions, who are now 43-3 in NCAA matches in Rec Hall, are now in sole possession of first place in NCAA Division I women's volleyball records with a home-match winning streak of 91 consecutive matches. Penn State looks to continue its streak Saturday at 7:30 p.m. against Virginia Tech. The Hokies defeated Delaware, 3-0, in their first round match.
Seniors Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) and Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) led the Nittany Lions with nine kills apiece. Wilson had a match-high attack percentage of .643. Sophomore setter Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) dished out 33 assists and was second on the team with eight digs. Senior Alyssa D'Errico (Byron, N.Y.) led the team with 11 digs, while freshman Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) had a match-high six total blocks.
Penn State attacked at a .370 clip and held the Purple Eagles to -.010. The Nittany Lions totaled 37 kills, five aces, 37 digs and 12.0 total team blocks. Niagara finished the match with 25 kills, four aces, 35 digs and 2.0 team blocks.
The Nittany Lions took a 6-2 lead to start the match, but the Purple Eagles used a 3-1 run to come within two, 7-5. Three straight Penn State kills pushed the Lions ahead by five, 10-5, and sent Niagara to the bench for an early timeout. Penn State followed the timeout with an 8-1 run to increase its lead to double-digits, 18-6. Niagara took a second timeout and PSU tallied a service error to put the ball in Niagara's control. Kathy Bibler recorded an ace for Niagara, but Penn State embarked on a 5-1 run for a 23-9 advantage. Another service error ended PSU's run, but kills by Brown and freshman Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) secured set one for PSU, 25-12.
Niagara grabbed a 3-1 lead in the second stanza and held onto the lead until a 3-0 PSU run had the score tied at 6-6. The Purple Eagles put down a kill and capitalized on a PSU error for an 8-6 edge. However, a 3-1 PSU run had the score knotted at 9-9 and Niagara taking a timeout. Brown put the Lions in front for the first time since the start of the set with a kill, but a kill by NU's Hannah Hedrick had the score at 10-10. A 4-1 PSU run finally gave Penn State some breathing room at 14-11. Two PSU errors and a Niagara kill had the Purple Eagles trailing by only one, 14-13, but a Wilson kill sparked a 4-0 Penn State run for an 18-13 lead. Niagara called a second timeout and thanks to two kills and two PSU errors, the Purple Eagles fought to within two, 19-17. Penn State called a timeout and closed out the set 6-1 run for a 25-19 second set win.
Penn State opened the third and final frame taking a 7-4 lead and forcing Niagara to call an early timeout. The Nittany Lions' lead grew to six, 10-4, before two straight kills by NU had the Purple Eagles within four, 10-6. Wilson sparked a 5-0 run by PSU for a nine-point lead, 15-6. McClendon had three straight kills during the run. Hedrick cut off the run with a kill, but a joint stuff by Wilson and Carpenter kept Penn State's lead at nine, 16-7. The two squads went back and forth with Penn State maintaining at least a six-point advantage. With a 19-13 lead, Brown started Penn State one a 6-2 run to close out the set for a 25-15 victory.
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.