Penn State puts on block party
Review: UCLA, USC earn sweeps to continue strong runs
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Sixth-ranked Penn State defeated No. 15 Minnesota 3-2 (27-25, 25-17, 23-25, 23-25, 15-12) Friday night. The Nittany Lions (18-5, 11-2 Big Ten) totaled 17.5 team blocks and held Minnesota to zero on their way to the victory.
Sophomore Ariel Scott totaled 26 kills, just one shy of her career-best. She also put up a personal-best eight total blocks while sophomore Deja McClendon was second on the team with 23 kills and third on the team with 10 digs. Freshman Micha Hancock dished out 58 assists and set the Penn State single-season aces record with three to total 73 for the season. Hancock also led the team with 18 digs, while sophomore Ali Longo had 13.
Freshman Nia Grant led the team in blocks with a career-high nine and sophomore Katie Slay finished third on the team with seven.
Penn State hit .335 against the Gophers and finished the match with 72 kills and seven aces. Minnesota (13-9, 6-7 Big Ten) hit .246 with 83 digs.
No. 1 UCLA 3, No. 10 Washington 0
LOS ANGELES -- Two months ago, Washington defeated UCLA in three sets in Seattle. On Friday night, the top-ranked Bruins exacted some revenge with a sweep of the 10th-ranked Huskies at the John Wooden Center, winning 28-26, 25-13, 28-26. Junior Rachael Kidder led the Bruins with 19 kills, while sophomore Kelly Reeves added 18 digs.
The Bruins improved to 21-3 overall and remained in a tie for first in the Pac-12 with a 14-2 record. The Huskies fell to 18-5 and 10-5 in league.
Kidder added eight digs and hit .357, and was joined in double figures in kills by junior Tabi Love (12) and freshman Zoë Nightingale (10), who had just one error in 15 attempts for a .600 hitting percentage. Sophomore Mariana Aquino also had a good hitting night with nine kills and only one miscue in 14 swings (.571) to go with three blocks while senior Lauren Van Orden posted 46 assists and six digs.
Senior Lainey Gera added 15 digs and junior Bojana Todorovic tallied 10 digs while also helping the Bruins hit .390 for the match.
No. 4 USC 3, Washington State 0
LOS ANGELES -- Senior All-America middle blocker Lauren Williams was a perfect 1.000 with nine kills on nine attempts Friday as the No. 4 USC Women of Troy swept the Washington State Cougars 3-0 (25-21, 25-8, 25-16) in Pac-12 Conference action at the Galen Center. The other two senior All-Americans on USC's roster had solid efforts as well, as Alex Jupiter led both teams with 11 kills while Kendall Bateman recorded 36 assists.
Sophomore libero Natalie Hagglund had 22 digs for USC (19-4, 14-2). Rachel Todorovich led Washington State (12-13, 4-11) with nine kills and hit .471 for the match with one error. USC held WSU's Meagan Ganzer, the current Pac-12 Conference points leader, to 7.5 points on the evening while hitting -.105 with seven kills against 11 hitting errors.
Game information and photos courtesy of respective athletic department websites.