Junior Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) led all players with 18 kills to bring her to 998 kills for her career. Junior Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) posted 12, while sophomore Nia Grant (Warren, Ohio) and freshman Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio) recorded 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Sophomore Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) dished out 53 assists and had three aces. McClendon also led the Lions in digs with 18 and Courtney registered 15. Both Hancock and sophomore Dominique Gonzalez (San Antonio, Texas) had 11 apiece. Grant and Slay led the Lions at the net with six blocks each.
The Nittany Lions had a .279 hitting percentage and totaled 62 kills, three aces, 70 digs and 14.0 total team blocks. The Hawkeyes (8-7, 0-2 Big Ten) finished the match hitting .126 with 47 kills, eight aces, 59 digs and 4.0 team blocks.
The first set was close from the beginning with neither team developing much momentum to take a strong lead. The Nittany Lions grabbed its largest lead of the set thus far on a 3-0 run for an 18-15 advantage. Iowa called a timeout and closed the gap to one, 18-17. However, two kills by McClendon and one from Grant had the Lions ahead by four, 22-18. Iowa called a second timeout, but three Penn State kills closed out set one for Penn State, 25-20.
Iowa led the way for the first half of the second stanza before a 5-0 Penn State run had the Lions leading, 13-10. The Hawkeyes kept it close and as the set began to wind down they used a 4-0 run for a two-point edge, 20-18. Following a Penn State timeout, kills by Slay and Courtney had the score knotted at 20-20 before an Iowa attack error put Penn State on top, 21-20. The score tied once more, but junior Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, Okla.) pounded a kill to make it 22-21. After another McClendon putdown, Iowa used a timeout. Thanks to a Hawkeye error and a Grant kill, the Nittany Lions grabbed set two, 25-21.
The third frame began much like the second until a 7-0 Penn State run had the Nittany Lions with a five-point lead, 16-11. Despite the strong advantage, Iowa wouldn't go away and used a 6-1 run soon after to tie it up at 20-20. An attack error gave Penn State the one-point edge, 21-20, and an ace from Hancock increased the gap to two, 22-20. Iowa answered with three straight points to take the lead, 23-22. Penn State called a timeout, but it didn't faze the Hawkeyes. The score tied five additional times before a PSU attack error put the Hawkeyes in the lead, 28-27. Rachael Bedell pounded a kill to secure set three for Iowa, 29-27.
Penn State came alive in the fourth and final set taking a 5-1 lead to start. Iowa called a timeout and fought to within two, 7-5. The Lions managed to hold on to at least a three-point lead until a 3-0 run had PSU back ahead by five, 14-9. Iowa called a timeout, but Penn State was on a roll. The Nittany Lions allowed Iowa only five additional points and closed out the set on a 5-0 run for a convincing 25-14 win.
Penn State hits the road for two straight weekends. Up first is a trip to Minnesota and Wisconsin on Sept. 28-29. The Nittany Lions then travel to Northwestern and Illinois on Oct. 5 and 6, respectively.
Source: PSU Athletics