Aug. 30, 2012
Big Four Notes
Big Four Tournament Central
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VIDEO: Stanford and Texas Preview with Asst. Coach Steve Aird
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
The No. 4 Penn State women's volleyball team (3-0) opens their home slate this weekend in the Nike Big Four Volleyball Classic at Rec Hall. Penn State faces No. 9 Stanford on Friday, Aug. 31 at 8 p.m., which will air live on the Big Ten Network, before challenging No. 2 Texas on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m.
Action begins on Friday at 4:30 p.m. when the Longhorns face No. 18 Florida. The Gators return to action on Saturday at 4 p.m. versus Stanford. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling 1-800-NITTANY or at the door prior to the matches. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for youth and groups. Penn
Nittany Lion Preview
Penn State started off the season successfully with three 3-0 sweeps in the Active Ankle Challenge in Louisville, Ky. The Nittany Lions defeated Morehead State (25-18, 25-15, 25-14), Western Kentucky Universit (25-10, 25-22, 25-22) and Louisville (25-20, 25-17, 25-18). Junior Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) pounded 3.78 kills per set to lead the Nittany Lions offensively. Juniors Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) and Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) both averaged 2.78 kills per set. Slay hit .500 for the weekend. Sophomore Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) averaged 11.00 assists per set and a team-high 1.00 aces per set. On defense, sophomore Dominique Gonzalez (San Antonio, Texas) had 3.89 digs per set, while McClendon averaged 3.33 digs per set. Slay was a wall at the net with 1.78 blocks per set, while Scott had 1.44 and sophomore Nia Grant posted 1.11 blocks per set.
For the weekend, the Nittany Lions hit .345 and averaging 15.00 kills, 14.11 assists, 1.89 aces, 14.78 digs and 3.50 blocks per set.
Penn State vs. Stanford
The Nittany Lions are 6-7 all-time versus the Cardinals. This will be the third meeting in three years between the two teams. Stanford has won the last two meetings, both in the Nike Big Four Volleyball Classic, first at Florida, 3-0, in 2010 and at Stanford, 3-1, in 2011.
Scouting the Cardinal
The ninth-ranked Cardinal is 2-1 so far this season after competing in the Hawaii Invitational on Aug. 25-26. Stanford defeated both Saint Mary's and Albany in three set sweeps, but suffered a 3-1 loss to host Hawaii. Jordan Burgess leads Stanford offensively with 3.33 kills per set and a .500 hitting percentage. Karissa Cook is the team's setter and she averaged 10.30 assists per set in the first weekend. Defensiveily, Carly Wopat was a strong presence at the net with 11 total blocks. The Cardinal will face No. 18 Florida on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.
Penn State vs. Texas
The Nittany Lions lead the series with the Longhorns, 10-7. The Longhorns won the last meeting on Sept. 10, 2011, 3-2. Previously, Penn State had defeated Texas 10 straight times, including in the 2010 NCAA National Semifinals and the 2009 NCAA Championship.
Scouting the Longhorns
No. 2 Texas is 3-0 after the first weekend of action. The Longhorns swept LSU, Cal Poly and San Diego in the 26 West Longhorns Classic on Aug. 24-25. Haley Eckerman is the offensive leader for Texas so far and she averaged 3.89 kills per set on .337 hitting. The Longhorns run a 6-2 offense with Nicole Dalton and Hannah Allison sharing setting duties. They're averaging 5.44 and 5.33 assists per set, respectively. Texas averaged 4.44 blocks per set in their first weekend with Molly McCage putting up 12 (2.00 blocks per set), while Sha'Dare McNeal, Khat Bell and Dalton posted 10 blocks apiece.The Longhorns face Florida at 4:30 p.m. on Friday.
Penn State is back on the road with a trip to Chicago on Sept. 8-9. The Nittany Lions face DePaul and Oregon State on Sept. 1 at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., respectively. Penn State faces UIC at 2 p.m. on Sept. 9.
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.