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No. 1 Penn State Women's Volleyball Closes Out Big Ten Season On The Road

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Nov. 25, 2008

University Park, Pa. -

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The top-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team (30-0, 18-0) closes out the Big Ten season on the road this weekend, traveling to Ohio State and No. 20 Michigan. The Nittany Lions and Buckeyes square off on Friday, Nov. 28 at 7:00 p.m. at St. John Arena in Columbus, Ohio, before Penn State travels to face the Wolverines on Saturday, Nov. 29 at 6:00 p.m. at Cliff Keen Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The contest between Penn State and Michigan will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network and live stats or Gametracker will be available for both contests via a link at

Previewing Penn State
The Nittany Lions enter the weekend with a 30-0 overall record and an 18-0 mark in the Big Ten after sweeping both Northwestern (25-15, 25-18, 25-11) and Wisconsin (25-21, 25-13, 25-17) to capture their sixth straight outright Big Ten title. Junior outside hitter Megan Hodge and senior outside hitter Nicole Fawcett lead the team with 3.93 and 3.92 kills per game, respectively, as senior middle hitter Christa Harmotto chips in 2.54 kills per game on a nation-leading .518 hitting percentage. Junior setter Alisha Glass directs the offense with 12.40 assists per game and senior libero Roberta Holehouse leads the defense with 3.27 digs per game. Harmotto and sophomore middle hitter Arielle Wilson head the blocking list with 1.48 and 1.39 blocks per game, respectively. As a team, Penn State is leading the country with a .399 hitting percentage while averaging 15.03 kills per game, 1.37 service aces per game, 11.91 digs per game and 3.26 blocks per game.

Scouting Ohio State
The Buckeyes come into Friday's match with a 12-18 overall record and a 3-15 mark in the Big Ten after sweeping Iowa (25-20, 25-18, 25-22) and falling at Minnesota (20-25, 12-25, 25-18, 22-25) last weekend. Sophomore outside hitter Katie Dull leads the team with 3.91 kills per game as junior middle hitter Kristen Dozier adds in 2.72 kills per game. Sophomore setter Betsy Hone and junior setter Ashley Hughes split time running the offense with 8.01 and 6.41 assists per game, respectively, as junior libero Chelsea Noble leads the defense with 3.09 digs per game. Freshman middle hitter Kelli Barhorst and Dozier head the blocking list with 1.10 and 0.83 blocks per game, respectively. As a team, Ohio State is hitting .204 with 12.83 kills per game, 1.03 service aces per game, 13.31 digs per game and 2.56 blocks per game.

The Series: Penn State vs. Ohio State
Penn State leads Ohio State, 31-14, in a series that began in 1981. The previous meeting this season was a three-game Nittany Lion win (25-15, 25-14, 25-12) on Oct. 18 at Rec Hall. The last meeting in Columbus was a three-game Penn State victory (30-22, 30-21, 30-21) on Nov. 21, 2007.

Scouting Michigan
The Wolverines enter the weekend with a 23-7 overall record and an 11-7 mark in the Big Ten after falling to Minnesota (16-25, 25-20, 14-25, 20-25) and defeating Iowa (25-23, 25-16, 25-16) last weekend on the road. Junior outside hitter Juliana Paz and senior middle hitter Beth Karpiak lead the team with 3.31 and 3.07 kills per game, respectively. Sophomore setter Lexi Zimmerman directs the offense with 11.50 assists per game and five players average more than 2.00 digs per game, led by senior libero Kerry Hance with 2.98 digs per game and freshman Sloane Donhoff with 2.72 digs per game. Redshirt freshman middle and opposite hitter Karlee Bruck and Karpiak head the blocking list with 0.91 and 0.88 blocks per game. As a team, Michigan is hitting .256 with 14.61 kills per game, 1.46 service aces per game, 14.56 digs per game and 2.01 blocks per game.

The Series: Penn State vs. Michigan
Penn State leads Michigan, 35-3, in a series that began in 1981. The previous meeting this season was a three-game Nittany Lion victory (25-18, 25-15, 25-20) at Rec Hall. The last meeting in Ann Arbor was a three-game Penn State victory (30-21, 30-22, 30-32, 30-21) on Nov. 24, 2007, with the Wolverines being the last Big Ten team to take an individual game off of the Nittany Lions. Penn State has captured the last 11 contests in the series, including a three-game victory (30-15, 30-18, 30-18) in the NCAA Regional Semifinals on Dec. 7, 2007, at Rec Hall.

Next Up
The Nittany Lions await the NCAA Selection show, scheduled to air on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 10:00 p.m. ET on ESPNU. Seedings, pairings and host sites for the NCAA Tournament First and Second Rounds will be announced on the half-hour broadcast.

Penn State and Rec Hall will be one of four pre-selected sites for the NCAA Regional Championships, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Dec. 12 and 13. The winners of each of the four regional championships advance to the NCAA Semifinals, slated for Thursday, Dec. 18 at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb. The NCAA National Championship match is Saturday, Dec. 20 at the Qwest Center.

For more information on the Penn State women's volleyball team, please visit The Penn State women's volleyball 2008 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets and The Outlets At Hershey.




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