No. 1 Penn State Defeats No. 22 Michigan, 3-0

10/17/2008

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The top-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team put together its third consecutive double-digit blocking match with 15.0 team stuffs as the Nittany Lions defeated No. 22 Michigan in three games (25-18, 25-15, 25-20) Friday night at Rec Hall in front of 3,932 fans. The Nittany Lions improve to 19-0 overall, 57-0 in individual games and 7-0 in the Big Ten while the Wolverines fall to 15-4 and 3-4 in league action.

"I thought we had a great crowd tonight for Homecoming," said head coach Russ Rose. "We were flat tonight but our blocking was really good. In spite of our shaky passing and setting, we won against a good Michigan team who played hard."

Senior outside hitter Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) led all players with 10 kills on .412 hitting as sophomore middle hitter Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) and junior outside hitter Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) both posted eight kills. As a team, Penn State attacked at a .324 clip.

Junior setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) dished out 32 assists as senior libero Roberta Holehouse (Joppa, Md.) and sophomore defensive specialist Alyssa D'Errico (Byron, N.Y.) each provided five digs. Penn State and Michigan each produced 21 digs in the contest.

The Nittany Lions dominated the serving game, racking up six aces while not allowing any. Hodge led the way with a season-high three as Fawcett notched two and D'Errico chipped in one.

Penn State outblocked Michigan 15.0 to 2.0. Senior middle hitter Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) posted a match-high seven stuffs as Glass and Wilson tallied six apiece and Hodge along with sophomore opposite Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) both added in three.

Michigan's Juliana Paz led her squad with nine kills as Beth Karpiak and Alex Hunt both contributed six kills.

The first game remained even early on, with a Fawcett kill giving Penn State the 11-8 lead. Consecutive Lion blocks, one by Harmotto and Hodge and another by Harmotto and Glass, extended the score to 14-9 before back to back Hodge aces and another Harmotto and Glass block pushed the advantage to eight at 18-10. The teams traded points and a Wilson kill made it 21-14. After a Michigan attack error, Penn State committed three unforced errors of its own to allow the Wolverines to pull within five at 22-17. A Fawcett kill halted the run before a Brown put-away ended the game, 25-18.

A Wilson and Brown block broke the 6-6 stalemate in the second stanza and a Wilson and Hodge block along with back to back Fawcett aces gave Penn State the 13-7 lead. Consecutive Lion kills from Harmotto and Brown forced a Wolverine timeout at 17-9 and another Brown kill coupled with a D'Errico ace pushed the score to 19-12. A Harmotto kill made it 22-15 and a Michigan error and two Fawcett kills ended the set, 25-15.

The third game featured nine ties as a Harmotto and Glass block put Penn State ahead 12-10. Michigan fought back to knot the score at 12-12 on a Paz kill and the Wolverines took the 13-12 lead on a Paz and Bruck block. But Harmotto answered with a kill and the teams exchanged kills before a Fawcett solo block and a Lion double block from Wilson and Brown gave Penn State the 16-14 advantage. Another Wilson kill and a solo Brown stuff made it 19-16 and two Hodge kills extended the lead to 21-17. A Glass kill and a Harmotto and Glass block put the Lions up 24-18 before a Michigan service error ended the game, 25-20.

The Nittany Lions remain at home, hosting Ohio State on Saturday, Oct. 18 at 8:30 p.m. at Rec Hall, following the 4:30 p.m. Homecoming football game between Penn State and Michigan across campus at Beaver Stadium.

For more information on the Penn State women's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com. 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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