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No. 1 Women's Volleyball Ventures to Northwestern, No. 21 Illinois

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Redshirt sophomore Erica Denney

Oct. 4, 2012

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 1 Penn State women's volleyball team (14-1, 4-0 Big Ten) travels to Northwestern and No. 21 Illinois on Oct. 5-6, respectively. Both matches are set to begin at 8 p.m.

Nittany Lion Preview
The Penn State women's volleyball team improved to 14-1 and 4-0 in the Big Ten win two 3-0 victories against Wisconsin on Sept. 28 and No. 10 Minnesota on Sept. 29. Junior Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) led Penn State with 3.83 kills per set, while junior Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) posted 3.50 kills per set and sophomore Nia Grant (Warren, Ohio) had 3.17. Sophomore Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) dished out 13.50 assists per set, 0.83 aces per set and 2.50 digs per set. On defense, Dominique Gonzalez (San Antonio, Texas) averaged a squad-high 4.67 digs per set, while McClendon had 3.17 digs per set. Grant was strong at the net with a Nittany Lion-best 1.17 blocks per set and freshman Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio) had 1.00 blocks per set.

For the week, the Nittany Lions hit .386 and averaged 16.50 kills, 15.33 assists, 2.00 aces, 15.67 digs and 2.67 blocks per set.

Penn State vs. Northwestern
Penn State leads the series with Northwestern 42-8. The Nittany Lions have won the last 18 consecutive matches. Northwestern's last win against Penn State was Nov. 23, 2002 with the Wildcats winning, 3-1.

Last Five Meetings
• PSU 3-0, at PSU, Nov. 14, 2009
• PSU 3-0, at NU, Oct. 23, 2010
• PSU 3-0, at PSU, Nov. 19, 2010
• PSU 3-2, at PSU, Oct. 5, 2011
• PSU 3-0, at NU, Nov. 12, 2011

Scouting the Wildcats
Northwestern owns a 12-3 overall record and is 1-3 in Big Ten play. The Wildcats went undefeated in non-conference play before three straight league losses to Wisconsin, Minnesota and Purdue. The Wildcats defeated Indiana, 3-1, on Sept. 29 for their first conference win.

Penn State vs. Illinois
The Nittany Lions are 37-9 all-time against the Illini. Illinois has won three of the last five matches. Penn State's last win was a 3-0 sweep on Nov. 13, 2010 at home n Rec Hall.

Last Five Meetings
• PSU 3-0, at Illinois, Nov. 21, 2009
• Illinois 3-2, at Illinois, Sept. 24, 2010
• PSU 3-0, at PSU, Nov 13, 2010
• Illinois 3-2, at PSU, Oct. 8, 2011
• Illinois 3-0, at Illinois, Nov. 11, 2011

Scouting the Fighting Illini
The No. 21 Fighting Illini are 8-6 overall this season and own a 2-2 record in Big Ten action. The Illini have won five of their last seven matches, with conference wins against Wisconsin and Indiana. However, Illinois suffered a 3-0 sweet against Minnesota and a 3-2 setback at Purdue.

What's Next?
The Nittany Lions return home to Rec Hall on Oct. 12-13. Penn State hosts Purdue and Indiana. The match vs. the Boilermakers is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Oct. 12 followed by the Hoosiers on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m.

For more information on the Penn State women's volleyball team, please visit 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




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