Nittany Lions trample Longhorns, improves overall score to 5-0
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Fourth-ranked Penn State grabbed a convincing 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-22) win against No. 2 Texas. The Nittany Lions improved to 5-0 for the season, while the Longhorns are now 5-1.
Scott led the team for the second consecutive night with 12 kills, while McClendon posted 11. Hancock paced the offense with 34 assists and had five kills in seven errorless swings. Sophomore Lacey Fuller led the Nittany Lions with nine digs and freshman Megan Courtney tallied eight. Slay had a match-high four blocks and Courtney added three.
Penn State recorded a .265 hitting percentage against the Longhorns. The Nittany Lions totaled 43 kills, five aces, 40 digs and 7.5 total team blocks. Texas hit .188 with 36 kills, three aces, 38 digs and 7.0 team blocks.
The Nittany Lions opened the match taking a 5-3 lead, but Texas answered with a 4-0 run for a 7-5 edge. A McClendon kill and a double block by sophomore Nia Grant and Slay had the score knotted at 7-7. The two squads went back and forth with the score tying seven times before a Scott kill and a Hancock ace moved PSU up by two, 16-14. After a Texas timeout, two Texas kills and a PSU error had the score at 18-all. Three Texas errors helped Penn State to take a 21-19, which grew to 23-20 with a Slay kill and a Longhorn attack error. Texas called a second timeout and grabbed two points off of Penn State service errors. However, McClendon pounded two kills to close out set one in Penn State’s favor, 25-22.
It wasn’t until halfway through set two that either team was able to develop any momentum to take a strong lead. With the score knotted at 10-10, two consecutive PSU kills and an ace from senior Kristin Carpenter had the Lions leading by three, 13-10. Texas called a timeout and slowed the Nittany Lions enough to take a 14-13 lead. Texas’s lead grew to two, 16-14, and again at 19-17, which forced a Penn State timeout. Texas had a serving error to give Penn State the ball and Scott and Hancock each pounded a kill to move the Lions in front by one, 20-19. Texas used its final timeout and tied the score at 20-20, but a 3-0 Nittany Lions run had Penn State within two of taking the set, 23-20. A solo stuff by Texas proved to be the Longhorns’ final point as a McClendon kill and a Texas error secured set two for PSU, 25-21.
The Nittany Lions took control early in the third frame with a 6-3 lead. The Longhorns used an early timeout, but Penn State held on to its three-point lead at 8-5. The Nittany Lions maintained the lead until more than halfway through when the Longhorns knotted the score at 15-15 after an ace and a kill. The score tied twice more before a Courtney kill and a block from Hancock and Slay had PSU with a 20-18 advantage. The Longhorns called a second timeout, but a block and a kill from the Nittany Lions pushed Penn State closer to the finish at 22-19. A Texas error and a McClendon kill had Penn State at match-point, 24-20. The Longhorns tallied two final points before a service error sealed the win for Penn State, 25-22.