Nittany Lions Sweep Virginia Tech, Advance to Regional Semifinals
Dec. 4, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The fourth-seeded Penn State women's volleyball team (28-5) defeated Virginia Tech, 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-13) to advance to the NCAA Regional Semifinals. The Nittany Lions face Oklahoma on Friday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. in Rec Hall.
Penn State is advancing to the NCAA Regional Semifinal for the 22nd time in program history. It is their 18th appearance in the last 20 seasons. Penn State is 44-3 in NCAA matches at Rec Hall after its win against the Hokies, and is 68-25 overall in NCAA matches.
Senior Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) led all players with 11 kills, while senior Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) was second on the team with eight. Sophomore setter Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) paced the offense with 30 assists and senior libero Alyssa D'Errico (Byron, N.Y.) tallied six digs. Brown led the team with six total blocks, including two solo, while freshman Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) and senior Fatima Balza (Merida, Venezuela) each put up five blocks. Wilson also recorded four blocks.
The Nittany Lions attacked at a .321 clip and held the Hokies to .157. Penn State totaled 37 kills, one ace, 27 digs and 15.0 total team blocks in the match. Virginia Tech finished the match with 33 kills, four aces, 26 digs and 4.0 team blocks.
The first set started out close with the score tying five times before a 4-0 run by PSU had the Nittany Lions leading by four, 9-5, and VT taking a timeout. The Hokies fought to within two, 13-11, but a VT service error and a Wilson kill kept PSU up by three, 15-12. Two straight Virginia Tech kills put the Hokies within one, 15-14, midway through the frame. Moments later, after a PSU ball handling error the score was knotted at 18-18. Freshman Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) put the Lions back in the lead with a kill, but VT's Justine Record fired back with her own to tie it up at 19-19. A Brown kill and a joint stuff by Scott and Wilson moved PSU in the lead by two, 21-19, and forced a Virginia Tech timeout. One kill each from Brown, Carpenter and Wilson and a VT error secured the first set for Penn State, 25-22.
The second stanza was controlled by Virginia Tech from the start. With a 12-10 edge, a 3-0 run by the Hokies increased their lead to five, 15-10. Penn State answered back with a 3-0 run of its own to cut the gap to two, 15-13, and after a kill by Cara Baarendse, two consecutive kills by freshman Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) put the Lions within one, 16-15. Virginia Tech called a timeout, but a joint block by Balza and McClendon had the score tied at 16-16. VT's lead grew to two, 18-16 and Penn State called a timeout. A 3-0 run after the break put Penn State in the lead, 19-18. After a Hokie timeout, a Carpenter ace put the Lions up by two, 20-18. The squads went back and forth until PSU closed out the set with a 3-1 run for a 25-22 second set win. The Hokies had three errors to aid Penn State's win.
Despite neither team developing any momentum to take control early in the third set, Penn State dominated the second half of the frame. With the score knotted at 10-10, a 5-1 PSU run pushed the Lions into the lead by four, 15-11. Felicia Willoughby cut off the run with a kill, but Penn State took off on a 4-0 run for a 19-12 lead. Virginia Tech called a timeout and Samantha Gostling followed the break with a kill to put the Hokies within six, 19-13. However, a Balza kill put PSU up by seven, 20-13, and sent VT back to the bench. The Nittany Lions closed out the set on a 5-0 run for a 25-13 third set victory. Brown had two kills in the final push.
Penn State is one of four host sites for the NCAA Regionals. Joining the Nittany Lions will be Missouri (22-10), Duke (26-6) and Oklahoma (23-10) to Rec Hall on Dec. 10-11. ALL SESSION tickets for the University Park Regional on Dec. 10-11 are also on sale NOW. They MUST also be purchased in advance at the Bryce Jordan Center Ticket Office or by calling 814-865-5555. All session tickets are $16 for adults and $10 for youth and students with a valid college or university ID and $8 for groups of 20 or more. SINGLE SESSION tickets for the University Park Regional will only be available at Rec Hall on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 10-11, and are $10 for adults, $7 for youth and students and $5 for groups.
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.