Penn State upsets No. 8 Purdue
Sophmores leads Nittany Lions to upset win on Senior Night
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - No. 12 Penn State earned a 3-1 (22-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-18) victory against No. 8 Purdue (25-4, 14-4 Big Ten) Saturday night on Senior Night.
Seniors Katie Kabbes and Megan Shifflett were honored prior to the match.
The Nittany Lions close out the regular season on the road visiting Ohio State on Wednesday, Nov. 23 and Michigan State on Saturday, Nov. 26.
Sophomore Deja McClendon led the team with 18 kills, while sophomore Maddie Martin was second on the team with 11. Freshman Micha Hancock dished out 47 assists to pace the offense. Sophomore Ali Longo had a career-high and match-high 26 digs to lead the defense and sophomore Katie Slay posted a match-high eight total blocks.
Penn State hit .285 against the Boilermakers. The Nittany Lions finished the match with 58 kills, six aces, 70 digs and 10.0 total team blocks. Purdue hit .169 and had 49 kills, four aces, 67 digs and 4.0 team blocks.
Despite the Boilermakers opening the match with a 4-1 lead in the first set, Penn State battled back to take an 8-6 lead. The lead was short-lived as a 4-0 run by Purdue moved the Boilermakers back into the lead, 10-8. The Lions managed to tie it up at 11 after kills from freshman Nia Grant (Warren, Ohio) and Martin. Purdue answered with another 4-0 run to move ahead by four, 15-11, and never looked back. The Nittany Lions closed the gap to one, 21-20 as the end of the set came near, but Ariel Turner helped close out the set for Purdue with two kills, 25-22.
The second set started out close until McClendon contribued two kills and Slay added one to give Penn State a 9-6 advantage. Purdue called a timeout and came within one 9-8, but the Nittany Lions did not lose control. Soon after a 5-1 Lion run saw Penn State taking a convincing 17-11 lead. Purdue burned its second timeout and used a 4-1 run cut Penn State's lead to three, 18-15. The Nittany Lions called a timeout and three kills by McClendon as part of a 6-1 run had Penn State at set point, 24-17. Catherine Rebarchak made a kill for Purdue, but McClendon registered one final kill to win set two, 25-18.
Penn State dominated the third frame leaping out to an 11-5 lead and forcing a Boilermaker timeout. The timeout did not faze the Lions who used a 4-0 run to increase their lead to nine, 15-6. Purdue headed back to the bench, but Penn State's lead grew to double-digits with a McClendon kill, 17-7. The Boilermakers came no closer than nine points for the remainder of the set. McClendon was called upon once again to close out the set for the Lions and she pounded a kill for a 25-15 victory.
The Lions momentum from the third frame carried over into the fourth as the Nittany Lions found themselves with an 11-4 lead. Purdue called its first timeout, but Penn State's lead grew to nine, 15-6. with kills from Hancock and Slay and a joint stuff by McClendon and Slay. Two points by Purdue has the Boilermakers trailing by seven, 15-8, but a Longo ace and kills by sophomore Ariel Scott and Slay had the Lions back ahead by nine, 18-9. Purdue used its final timeout, but was still unable to slow the Lions enough to make it a contest. The Boilermakers fought to within seven, 23-16, but Penn State regrouped with a timeout. Two Purdue errors helped Penn State earn a 25-18 triumph.