Dec. 10, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The No. 4 seed Penn State women’s volleyball team (29-5) topped Oklahoma (23-11), 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-15) on Friday evening in the NCAA Regional Semifinal at Rec Hall. Almost 3,400 fans were on hand for the victory. The Nittany Lions take on Duke in the NCAA Regional Championship on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Rec Hall.
Tickets will be available at the door for $10 for adults, $7 for youth and $5 for groups of 20 or more. The first 300 students with a valid Penn State ID will be admitted free.
The match will be broadcast live on ESPNU. Gametracker will be available via a link at GoPSUsports.com.
Penn State improved to 45-3 in NCAA Tournament matches in Rec Hall with the win against Oklahoma. The Nittany Lions are now 69-25 in NCAA matches overall and have won 21 consecutive postseason matches dating back to the 2007 season. PSU also own 8-5 in NCAA Regional Championship matches.
Senior Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) led the Nittany Lions with 24 kills to tie her career high on .583 hitting. She also contributed three blocks and six digs. Senior Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) was second on the team with nine kills and had a team-high four blocks. Sophomore setter Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) dished out 45 assists and was second on the team with eight digs. She also had three kills on four errorless attacks. Senior libero Alyssa D’Errico (Byron, N.Y.) had a match-high 15 digs.
Penn State registered a .429 attack percentage and held the Sooners to .217 hitting. The Nittany Lions totaled 52 kills, three aces 50 digs and 8.5 total team blocks. Oklahoma finished the night with 41 kills, three aces, 35 digs and 5.0 team blocks.
The first two sets started out with neither team able to develop any momentum and take a convincing lead. In the first set, the score tied three times before a kill by freshman Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) and an OU error moved the Lions in front by two, 6-4. However, a 3-0 Sooner run put Oklahoma in the lead by one, 7-6. Penn State tied it up at 7-7 with a kill from freshman Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.), but OU capitalized on two PSU errors for a two-point edge, 9-7. The score tied six more times before two OU attack errors put the Nittany Lions in the lead, 16-14. Penn State’s advantage grew to three, 19-16, forcing an Oklahoma timeout. A kill by OU’s Morgan Reynolds and three straight PSU errors had the Sooners back in the lead, 20-19. After a Penn State timeout, a 3-0 PSU run put the Lions back in the lead, 22-21. Oklahoma took a second time out, but two Brown putdowns and one from junior Katie Kabbes (Raleigh, N.C.) secured set one for PSU, 25-23.
Set two was much like the first with neither team taking control early. With the score knotted at 13-13, kills by freshman Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) and Carpenter put PSU up by two, 15-13. Two kills by Brown and a joint block by Brown and Wilson increased the gap to five, 18-13. The Nittany Lions maintained at least a four-point lead until a McClendon kill, which put the Lions up by five at 22-17, forced an OU timeout. Oklahoma embarked on a 4-1 run to cut Penn State’s lead to two, 23-21, and send the Nittany Lions to the bench. After another kill by Brown, a kill and block by OU had the Sooners within one, 24-23. A triple-block by Wilson, Scott and Brown closed out set two for PSU, 25-23, and gave the Nittany Lions a 2-0 lead in the match.
The third set started out close until Penn State took off on a 5-0 tear for a 15-9 advantage. OU’s Suzy Boulavsky attempted to cut off the Penn State run with a kill, but the Nittany Lions momentum only continued to grow. McClendon sparked an 8-2 run by PSU for a 10-point lead, 22-12. Brown had two kills and an ace during the run. Sooner Morgan Reynolds cut off the run with a kill, but it wouldn’t be enough to help the Sooners. Two Wilson kills and one by Brown gave Penn State a convincing 25-15 third set win.