No. 1 Penn State Runs Past Greyhounds, 3-0
Sept. 11, 2009
DURHAM, N.C. - The top-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team improved to 7-0 on the season with a 3-0 (25-9, 25-14, 25-7) victory against Loyola (Md.) (4-6) in the opening match of the Duke Invitational. The Nittany Lions have now won a record-setting 71 consecutive matches, while head coach Russ Rose recorded his 970th career win.
Sophomore Katie Kabbes (Raleigh, N.C.) tied her career-high with eight kills, while both senior Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) and junior Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) tied for second on the team with seven kills with Wilson attacking at a .778 clip. Wilson also led all players with eight total blocks. Senior Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) paced the Penn State offense with 30 assists and Hodge had a match-high 10 digs.
The Nittany Lions secured a 3-1 lead after kills from Balza and Dorton and an ace from Glass. The Greyhounds finally got on the board with a kill from Janet Pressler, but Penn State would be up by five, 6-1, before Loyola would manage another point. Soon after, a kill from Brown plus two Greyhound errors would move the Nittany Lions ahead by eight, 10-2. Loyola's Nina Camaioni spiked the ball for a kill, but back-to-back kills by Hodge for a 12-4 lead would force the Greyhounds to take a timeout. Following the timeout, both teams posted errors keeping the Nittany Lions up by eight, 13-5. A kill by Pressler and a Greyhound service error did nothing but urge Penn State on, as aces from Hodge and sophomore Megan Shifflett (Falls Church, Va.) and a kill from sophomore Kabbes moved the Nittany Lions up by nine, 16-7. Penn State held the Greyhounds to just seven points until it was ahead by 16, 23-7. A PSU error and a kill from Kathryn Dircks moved Loyola near double-digits, but a Brown kill closed out the first set for a score of 25-9.
The Greyhounds kept the score close for the first few minutes of the second set, but three straight points by the Nittany Lions and a Loyola error had Penn State pulling away with a 7-3 advantage. After an error by both squads, Kabbes and Balza combined for a monster block to move Penn State ahead by five, 9-4. The pair joined forces again on the next play to keep the ball in PSU control. A kill by Loyola's Dircks gave the Greyhounds another chance to serve, but they were unable to capitalize on the opportunity posting two errors and took a timeout. The timeout did little to slow Penn State as Brown and Balza gave PSU a 13-5 lead with another block. After several Greyhound errors and a block by Wilson and Blair, Loyola's Camaioni recorded a kill to bring them within eight, 16-8. However, a Hodge kill, a Loyola attack error and a Brown ace had Penn State ahead by double-digits, 18-8. Wilson posted another kill and Penn State put up another block to send Loyola to the bench for a second timeout. The Greyhounds finally found some momentum as the set came to a close with four kills and an ace, but three straight kills from Kabbes put Penn State ahead in the match, 2-0.
Penn State closed out the match with a 25-7 third set win. Hodge sparked the Nittany Lions final charge with a kill, and Wilson and Balza followed with the same shortly after to put Penn State up, 3-1. An ace from junior Alyssa D'Errico (Byron, N.Y.), two kills from Hodge and another from Wilson had Loyola taking a timeout. PSU followed the break with a kill from Kabbes and a block from Wilson and Glass for an 11-3 advantage. Two Greyhound attack errors and a Wilson kill increased the gap to 10, 13-3. Penn State remained on the offensive for the remainder of the set as Loyola registered six attack errors and Penn State's front row remained impenetrable. Wilson and Brown blocked a Pressler attack to end the match.
The Nittany Lions are back in action on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 12 p.m. when they take on the College of Charleston Cougars. Penn State closes out the Duke Invitational with a 7 p.m. matchup with the hosting Blue Devils. Both matches will be played in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Live stats will be available here and live audio will be available at www.GoPSUsports.com.