Junior Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) led Penn State with 18 kills, while junior Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) had 16 and freshman Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio) had 13. Sophomore Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) dished out 53 assists to pace the offense. McClendon had a career-high 29 digs and sophomore Dominique Gonzalez (San Antonio, Texas) tied her career-best in digs with 22. Junior Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) posted a personal-best 12 total blocks, while Courtney recorded eight. Sophomore Nia Grant (Warren, Ohio) posted six and Scott tallied five.
Penn State hit .232 against the Wolverines and registered 65 kills, one ace, 70 digs and 21.0 total team blocks. The Wolverines hit .152 with 64 kills, one ace, 79 digs and 8.0 team blocks.
The Nittany Lions took a 3-1 lead to start the match, but the Wolverines took off on an early 8-3 run for a 9-6 advantage. Midway through the set, the Lions had the score tied at 11-11. Despite a kill by Michigan, three straight Wolverine errors and a Scott kill had the Lions with a 15-12 lead. Michigan called a timeout and managed to close the gap to one, 17-16. A 5-1 Nittany Lions run had Penn State with a five-point advantage, 22-17. The Wolverines headed back to the bench, but it didn't faze the Nittany Lions. Kills from Scott and Courtney and a McClendon ace closed out set one for PSU, 25-19.
The second frame started out close, but it was Penn State who took the 9-6 lead after back-to-back kills from Slay. The Wolverines remained close through the midpoint of the set until a 4-1 run had PSU leading 17-11. The Nittany Lions continued to press and were leading by six, 20-14, as the set was beginning to come to a close. The two squads traded points for the remainder of the set with the Nittany Lions not allowing the Wolverines to make up any ground. Courtney pounded the final kill of the set for a 25-18 Nittany Lion win.
Michigan jumped out to a 4-1 lead to start the third stanza, a lead they held until almost midway through the set when kills from Courtney and Scott tied it up at 10-10. Scott pounded another kill to move Penn State into the lead, 11-10, but Michigan answered with a kill to make it 11 all. Three straight Penn State blocks gave Penn State a three-point cushion, 14-11. The lead was short-lived as a 4-1 Wolverine run had the score knotted at 15-15. Michigan grabbed the lead with a kill before two PSU errors had the Lions trailing by three, 19-16. The Nittany Lions were unable to develop any momentum and were trailing by four, 23-19, when they called a timeout. Scott and McClendon each put down a kill to move within two, 23-21, an error by PSU and a Michigan kill had the Wolverines with a 25-21 victory.
The fourth set began like the second, but Penn State used a 6-1 run for an 11-6 lead. Michigan answered back with its own 6-1 run to tie it at 12-12. However, two PSU blocks and a Scott kill had the Lions with a 15-12 lead. Michigan went on to score five of the next seven points to tie the se t at 17-17. The score tied again at 18-18 before three Michigan errors had Penn State with a two-point edge, 21-19. Two consecutive Michigan kills had it at 21 all and the Wolverines took the lead on a kill, 22-21. A Michigan error made it 22-22, but two Wolverine kills had the Lions trailing by two, 24-22. Despite a Penn State timeout, a Nittany Lion error gave set four to Michigan , 25-22.
Penn State leapt out to a 5-0 lead in the fifth and deciding set. Michigan called a timeout and fought to within two, 6-4, with a 4-1 run. A kill by Slay and back-to-back Penn State blocks increased Penn State's lead to five, 9-4, and forced another Wolverine timeout. After another Slay kill, an attack error gave Michigan a point. McClendon pounded a kill to move Penn State four points from the win, 11-5. Michigan narrowed the gap to four, 13-9, before a McClendon kill and a Michigan service error closed out the set, 15-10.
Penn State remains on the road for the next two matches. The Nittany Lions visit Iowa on Oct. 24 before traveling to Nebraska on Oct. 28.
For more information on the Penn State women's volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State women's volleyball 2012 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets.
Source: PSU Athletics