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Iowa City, Iowa, Nov. 6, 2004 - Freshman Kate Price (Fraser, Mich.) pounded a match-high 18 kills as the sixth-ranked Penn State women??s volleyball team defeated Iowa in three games (30-23, 30-17, 30-19) Saturday night in Iowa City. The Nittany Lions improve to 21-2 and 12-2 in the Big Ten while the Hawkeyes fall to 9-17, 1-12 in league action.
Seniors Syndie Nadeau (St. Georges, Quebec) and Ashley Pederson (Sioux Falls, S.D.) both posted 11 kills and sophomore Cassy Salyer (Aurora, Colo.) and freshman Melissa Walbridge (Yardley, Pa.) notched eight apiece. Penn State outhit Iowa .333 to .116 in the match.
Junior setter Sam Tortorello (Shorewood, Ill.) dished out 54 assist and led the Lions with 14 digs. Senior Tabitha Eshleman (Greencastle, Pa.) posted 13 digs and Nadeau and junior libero Kaleena Walters (Mt. Lebanon, Pa.) both tallied 11 digs.
Iowa won the blocking battle 6.0 to 4.0. Nadeau and Walbridge both posted two blocks for the Lions.
Iowa grabbed the early 7-4 lead to start the first game before the Nittany Lions fought back to within two at 9-7 on a Salyer kill. The teams traded points six times before a Tortorello kill pulled the Lions to within one at 15-14. Following a Penn State service error, a Pederson kill sparked a 7-1 Nittany Lion run to put Penn State up, 21-17 on a Pederson kill. Iowa scored the next two points before a Pederson kill, an Iowa attack error and an ace from Eshleman made the score 24-19. Back to back Price kills put Penn State up six at 26-20 before a Tortorello kill and a Hawkeye attack error ended the game, 30-23. Both Price and Pederson recorded five kills in the game as Penn State hit .378 to Iowa??s .175.
Penn State opened up an 8-3 lead to begin the second stanza on a Walbridge kill before three Price put-aways aided the Nittany Lions in grabbing the 12-4 advantage. The teams traded points before two more Price kills put Penn State up, 15-6. Kills from Pederson and Walbridge made the score 19-7 but the Hawkeyes mounted a comeback, scoring seven of the next 10 points to pull within seven at 21-14. Another Price kill halted the run with two more kills from Price putting the Lions up, 25-15. An ace from Price made the score 27-16 before kills from Salyer and Pederson ended the game, 30-17. Price led the Lions with eight kills as Penn State outhit Iowa .341 to .077 in the set.
Back to back Price aces and a Salyer kill put Penn State up 6-1 in the third game before a Walbridge kill and a Tortorello ace pushed the lead to 9-4. Consecutive kills from Nadeau and Price gave the Lions the 14-7 advantage before a Nadeau kill made the score 19-12. Kills from Nadeau and Tortorello and a block from Tortorello and Salyer pushed the lead to 23-14 and a kill from Salyer and a block by Walbridge and Pederson made the score 27-16 before a Nadeau kill and an Iowa attack error ended the game, 30-19.
Penn State returns home to host Wisconsin and Northwestern on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 12-13.
For more information on the Penn State women??s volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com.