No. 1 Penn State Pounds Ohio
HONOLULU, Hawaii - Behind 15 kills on .619 hitting from senior outside hitter Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio), the top-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team remained unbeaten with a three-game sweep of Ohio (25-15, 25-19, 25-9) Sunday afternoon at the Hawaiian Airlines Classic in Honolulu. The Nittany Lions improve to 3-0 while the Bobcats fall to 0-3.
Senior middle hitter Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) posted eight kills on .636 hitting while junior outside hitter Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) notched eight kills on .500 hitting to aid the offense. Sophomores Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) and Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) notched five and four kills, respectively, while freshman Katie Kabbes (Raleigh, N.C.) recorded her first collegiate kill to end the third stanza. Penn State attacked at a season-high .508 percentage while holding Ohio to .013 hitting.
Junior setter Alisha Glass dished out 37 assists and allowed the Lions to record 41 kills to the Bobcats' 20. Hodge led the Penn State defense with 11 digs as senior libero Roberta Holehouse (Joppa, Md.) and sophomore defensive specialist Alyssa D'Errico (Byron, N.Y.) each picked up seven digs and Fawcett provided six digs. Penn State out-dug Ohio 34 to 13.
The Lions also claimed the blocking battle, 5.5 to 2.0, led by Harmotto and Fawcett with three stuffs apiece as Glass and Wilson each contributed two blocks.
Ellen Herman led Ohio with 11 kills.
Two Lion blocks - one a triple effort from Fawcett, Harmotto and Glass and another from Harmotto and Fawcett - evened the score in the first set 4-4 and a Hodge overpass kill put Penn State up 8-7. Three consecutive Lion errors gave Ohio the 10-8 lead before a Harmotto put-away tied the game at 11-11. The teams traded points and a Hodge kill sparked a 7-0 Penn State run encompassing two kills each from Harmotto and Fawcett and a block by the duo to give the Lions the 19-12 lead and force an Ohio timeout. A Hodge kill out of the break extended the run to 8-0 before an Ohio kill halted the streak, but Penn State remained on top, going up 21-13 on a Harmotto overpass kill and 23-15 on a Wilson slide kill before a Fawcett ace ended the game, 25-15. Penn State attacked at a .440 clip in the stanza as Hodge, Fawcett and Harmotto all tallied four kills and D'Errico led the defense with four digs.
The second set remained close early, with a Brown kill making it 4-4 and a Fawcett put-away knotting the game at 9-9. A Brown and Wilson block gave Penn State the 12-10 lead and the teams traded points before the Bobcats claimed four of the next five points to go up 15-14 heading into the television timeout. Out of the break, two Ohio errors and a Harmotto kill gave the Nittany Lions the 17-15 advantage and following a Lion attack error, another Harmotto kill and a Bobcat attack into the net put Penn State up 19-16. A Fawcett kill maintained the lead at 21-17 before two more Fawcett put-aways ended the game, 25-19. Fawcett led the Lions with five kills as Harmotto added in three and Wilson posted two blocks.
Penn State sprinted out to the 8-2 lead in the third game behind one Harmotto kill, two Hodge put-aways and three consecutive Fawcett kills. The teams exchanged points out of an Ohio timeout before a Fawcett kill, two Bobcat attack errors and consecutive Brown kills pushed Penn State's lead to 14-3. The Lions' run continued, with kills from Fawcett, Brown and Wilson to push the score to 19-3. Put-aways from Brown and Hodge made it 22-6 before Kabbes recorded her first collegiate kill to end the game, 25-9.
The Nittany Lions open up the 2008 home slate with Long Island on Friday, Sept. 5 at 7:00 p.m. ET at Rec Hall. Penn State then takes on George Washington and Villanova on Saturday, Sept. 6 at noon and 8:00 p.m. ET, respectively.
For more information on the Penn State women's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com.
Article courtesy of Penn State athletics.