No. 1 Penn State Downs Iowa 3-0


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IOWA CITY, Iowa - Behind a season-high 17 team blocks, the top-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team topped Iowa in three games (25-20, 25-18, 25-20) Friday night in Iowa City, Iowa. The Nittany Lions improve to 17-0 and 5-0 in the Big Ten while the Hawkeyes fall to 10-7 and 2-3 in conference action.

Senior outside hitter Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) and junior outside hitter Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) led the Lions with 12 kills each, as Fawcett's came on .458 hitting. Senior middle hitter Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) posted eight kills as sophomore middle hitter Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) tallied seven kills on .429 hitting.

Junior setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) dished out 43 assists and Hodge led the defense with 10 digs as Fawcett and senior libero Roberta Holehouse (Joppa, Md.) each picked up nine digs.

Penn State racked up 17 team blocks, led by a season-high-tying nine by Wilson, a season-high-tying six from Fawcett and Glass and five from Harmotto, as Hodge added in three.

A Glass and Wilson block pushed Penn State up 7-5 to start the match and the Lions maintained the slight lead, going up 15-11 on a Fawcett kill and a Wilson and Fawcett block. Another Wilson block and Fawcett kill pushed the Penn State lead to 17-13 before Lion kills from Brown and Wilson made it 20-17. A Glass and Harmotto made the advantage four at 22-18 and the Lions took the game 25-20 on a Hodge kill. Penn State racked up 7-5 team blocks in the set alone, led by Wilson with five.

Iowa jumped out to the early lead in the second stanza, going up 5-3 before Penn State kills from Fawcett and Wilson along with a block from the duo swung the momentum to the Lions and put Penn State up 6-5. The teams traded points four times before two Lion errors and an Iowa ace tied the game at 11-11. A Harmotto slide kill quickly put Penn State back on top and was followed by a Hodge kill and a Harmotto and Hodge block to make the score 14-11. Two Iowa kills closed the gap to two points at 14-13 but again Harmotto answered, this time with two kills, and along with another Fawcett put-away, Penn State grabbed the 17-13 lead. Following a Lion error, a Harmotto kill, a double block from Fawcett and Wilson along with a Lion triple block by Glass, Wilson and Fawcett gave Penn State the 20-14 advantage. Following an Iowa timeout, kills from Wilson, Brown and Fawcett made it 23-16 before a Hawkeye service error gave Penn State the game, 25-18. The Nittany Lions attacked at a .433 clip in the stanza as Harmotto racked up five kills and Wilson and Fawcett provided three blocks apiece.

A Glass and Harmotto block gave Penn State the 4-3 advantage in the third game before a Fawcett kill made it 7-4. A Brown kill followed by a Hodge kill and solo block pushed the score to 11-7 before two Harmotto kills and a Glass solo block made it 15-8. Iowa claimed the next three points on a Lion error and a kill and a block to pull within four at 15-11 but Hodge responded with two kills ­ one of out of the front row and one out of the back row ­ to push the Lion lead to six at 17-11. The Hawkeyes again scored three consecutive points before a Fawcett kill and a Fawcett and Wilson block gave Penn State the 19-14 advantage. Iowa claimed three of the next four points to pull within three at 20-17 but kills from Fawcett and Hodge made it 22-17. The teams traded points three times as a Hodge kill down the line off the defender ended the game, 25-20.

Penn State heads to No. 12 Minnesota on Saturday, Oct. 11 for a 6:00 p.m. CT (7:00 p.m. ET) contest at Williams Arena. The match will be televised on the Big Ten Network beginning at 7:00 p.m. CT (8:00 p.m. ET).

For more information on the Penn State women's volleyball team, please visit . The Penn State women's volleyball 2008 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets and The Outlets At Hershey.

Article courtesy of Penn State athletics.

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