UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., Nov. 21, 2012 - The top-ranked and Big Ten Champion Penn State women's volleyball team (28-2, 18-1 Big Ten) earned a 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-14) win against No. 14 Ohio State Wednesday night. The Nittany Lions are back in action on Saturday, Nov. 24 against Michigan State at 8 p.m. for Senior Night.
"We are appreciative of all the fans that came out tonight," said head coach Russ Rose. "I am real pleased about that. I think we played well and there really weren't any areas that were worrisome tonight."
Junior Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) posted a match-high 15 kills on .519 hitting, while junior Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) tallied 11. Sophomore Nia Grant (Warren, Ohio) put down eight kills hitting at a .727 clip and junior Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) notched seven. Sophomore Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) paced the offense with 34 assists and she also had three aces. Sophomore Dominique Gonzalez (San Antonio, Texas) led the Lions with a match-high 11 digs and freshman Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio) and Slay had five total blocks each.
Penn State hit at a .396 clip with 47 kills, seven aces, 36 digs and 9.5 total team blocks. The Buckeyes (22-9, 13-6 Big Ten) registered a .120 hitting percentage with 26 kills, two aces, 41 digs and 4.0 team blocks.
The Nittany Lions took a 5-1 lead to start the match. Ohio State stayed within four until midway through the set when a 3-0 run had the Buckeyes within two, 12-10. Kills from Scott and McClendon moved Penn State ahead by four, 14-10. Ohio State put up a block and pounded a kill to move within two again, 14-12, but a 5-0 Penn State run had the Lions with a seven-point lead, 19-12. Ohio State used both of their timeouts during the run but they failed to slow the Nittany Lions. Kills from Grant, Scott and Slay and an ace from sophomore Lacey Fuller (San Diego, Calif.) had the Lions nearing set point, 23-15. The Buckeyes managed three more points before a service error helped Penn State to a 25-18 set one win.
Despite the second set coming to a tie at 4-4, back-to-back kills from Scott, a block and a Gonzalez ace had Penn State leading by four, 8-4. Ohio State called a timeout, but Penn State's lead grew to six, 12-6. To straight Buckeye kills moved OSU within four, 12-8, but Penn State had a five-point advantage, 15-10, after a Grant kill and a Hancock ace. After a Buckeye kill, the Lions embarked on a 6-0 run for a double-digit lead, 21-11. Ohio State called a timeout and managed to close the gap to eight with Penn State at set point, 24-16. Junior Maddie Martin (Tampa, Fla.) closed out set two with a kill for PSU, 25-16.
The third stanza started out close with the score knotted at 5-5. A Penn State error put the Buckeyes in front, 6-5, but a 7-0 run by Penn State had the Nittany Lions with a 12-6 lead. Despite an Ohio State timeout, the Nittany Lions maintained control with at least a three-point advantage. Leading 15-12, McClendon pounded a kill sparking a 5-1 run for a 20-13 lead. The Buckeyes called a second timeout, and grabbed a point on a Penn State service error. A triple block by Scott, Grant and Courtney sparked Penn State's final run of five straight points to close out the set for a 25-14 victory.
--PSU Athletic Communications--