Oct. 15, 2010

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 9 Penn State women's volleyball team defeated No. 19 Minnesota, 3-1 (25-22, 25-14, 21-25, 25-16), Friday night in front of 3,111 raucous Nittany Lion fans. Penn State is now 35-7 all-time against the Gophers (14-5, 4-3 Big Ten).

Freshman Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) led Penn State (14-4, 4-3 Big Ten) with 17 kills, while senior Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) was second on the team with 16. Freshman Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) tallied nine kills in her collegiate debut, as did senior Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.). Sophomore setter Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) dished out 50 assists to pace the Nittany Lions offense. Senior libero Alyssa D'Errico (Byron, N.Y.) and Brown each posted 18 digs to lead the team, while senior Cathy Quilico (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) contributed 12. Wilson and McClendon each had a team-high four blocks.

Penn State registered a .296 attack percentage, while Minnesota hit .160. The Nittany Lions totaled 58 kills, three aces, 67 digs and 10.0 total team blocks. The Gophers closed out the match with 49 kills, one ace, 56 digs and 4.0 team blocks.

The Nittany Lions hopped out to a 3-0 lead to start the match in set one, a lead they maintained for the remainder of the set. The Gophers came within two on three occasions, but after a McClendon kill and a Minnesota error, the Gophers called their first time out with Penn State leading 12-7. The Gophers followed the break with an attack error, but Tabi Love put down a kill to keep Minnesota with five, 13-8. Despite a kill from Scott, a kill by Minnesota's Lauren Gibbemeyer and back-to-back PSU errors had the Gophers within three, 14-11. Kills by Brown and Scott and a Gopher error put the Lions back up by five, 17-12. However, the Gophers answered back with three kills to be within three of Penn State, 19-16. Brown managed to keep Minnesota at bay with two kills for a 21-17 Nittany Lion lead. Minnesota called a second timeout and capitalized on three PSU errors to be within two, 22-20. Penn State called a timeout, but the Nittany Lions notched two more errors to allow Minnesota to tie it up at 22-22. After another PSU timeout, a kill and an ace by Brown and a PSU block secured set one for Penn State, 25-22.

Penn State once again took the lead in set two, but it was a slim lead until about midway through the frame. Leading 12-10, the Nittany Lions posted three straight points for a 15-10 advantage. Love tallied a kill for Minnesota to make it 15-11 in favor of Penn State, but a kill by Wilson and two consecutive putdowns by McClendon had Penn State leading 18-11. Minnesota called a timeout, but Wilson followed the break with an ace and McClendon recorded another kill to move the Lions ahead by nine, 20-11. Gibbemeyer and Love each registered a kill to put Minnesota within seven, 20-13, but Penn State closed out the set on a 5-1 run for a 25-14 win.

The third set was close from the start with the score tying six times before a McClendon kill and a Gopher error gave Penn State a slim 9-7 lead. A block and two kills by Minnesota had the score knotted at 10-10, but a Brown kill put PSU back in front, 11-10. A PSU service error allowed Minnesota to tie the score again and two additional Lion errors had the Gophers leading 13-11. The Gophers controlled the score until two Scott kills and one from Brown allowed Penn State to tie the set at 16-16. A joint block by Wilson and McClendon gave Penn State the lead, 17-16. Penn State's lead was brief as errors continued to plague the Nittany Lions. Penn State called its first timeout of the set as Minnesota's Mia Tabberson put the Gophers ahead, 20-19. Minnesota, unfazed by a second PSU timeout, closed out the set on a 5-1 run for a 25-21 victory.

Minnesota took a 3-1 lead to start set three, but a kill by senior Fatima Balza (Merida, Venezuela) and one by Scott had the score knotted at 3-3. It wasn't until three consecutive errors by the Gophers that the Nittany Lions moved ahead for good, 7-4. A 5-1 PSU run increased Penn State's lead to six, 12-6, and sent Minnesota to the bench, but Penn State followed it with a 4-1 run for a 16-7 advantage. The Gophers cut off the run with three straight points to cut Penn State's lead to six, 16-10, but kills by McClendon and Balza kept the Lions comfortable ahead, 18-11. Minnesota took a second timeout and managed to fight to within six, 21-15, thanks in part to three Penn State errors. It proved too little too late for the Gophers though as two Wilson kills and one from McClendon secured the set for Penn State, 25-16.