No. 1 Penn State Sweeps Northwestern, 3-0


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EVANSTON, Ill. ­ - The top-ranked Penn State women's volleyball squad swept Northwestern (25-19, 25-17, 25-14) Saturday night in Evanston, Ill. The Nittany Lions improve to 22-0 overall and 10-0 in the Big Ten and remain undefeated in both matches and sets for the season.

Junior outside hitter Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) led all players with 15 kills on .519 hitting as senior outside hitter Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) posted 10 kills and senior middle hitter Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) posted eight kills. As a team, Penn State attacked for a .371 clip while holding Northwestern to hitting .052.

Junior setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) directed the offense with 38 assists and senior libero Roberta Holehouse (Joppa, Md.) led the Lions with a match-high 10 digs as Fawcett and sophomore Alyssa D'Errico (Byron, N.Y.) each posted nine digs.

Penn State outblocked Northwestern, 11.5 to 6.0, led by Fawcett and sophomore middle hitter Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) with five stuffs each as Glass provided four, Harmotto posted three and Hodge tallied two.

The first game remained even early on, with kills from Wilson and Brown putting Penn State up 10-8 and a Harmotto put-away making it 13-11. A Lion triple block from Fawcett, Glass and Wilson was quickly followed by two more blocks - one from Fawcett and Wilson and another from Glass and Wilson ­ to give Penn State the 19-13 lead. A Hodge overpass kill pushed the score to 22-16 before put-aways from Brown and Hodge ended the game, 25-19. Hodge led the Lions with five kills as Harmotto added in four and Wilson posted three blocks. 

Northwestern pulled out to the 6-3 lead in the second stanza before a Harmotto kill and ace sparked a 5-0 Penn State run to swing the momentum to the Lions and put them up 8-6. A Wildcat kill and Lion error knotted the game at 8-8 but kills from Fawcett and Glass along with a Fawcett and Wilson block gave Penn State the 12-8 advantage. Another Fawcett kill, a Brown solo block and a Wilson overpass kill made it 16-9 before a Harmotto and Hodge block extended the Lion lead to 19-11. A D'Errico ace put Penn State ahead 21-13 and a Lion triple block from Glass, Harmotto and Fawcett pushed the score to 24-15 before a Fawcett kill ended the game, 25-17. Hodge led the squad with six kills and Harmotto added in three blocks.

Penn State jumped out to the 7-2 lead to start the third game with a run that encompassed two kills each from Brown and Harmotto. A Lion triple block from Fawcett, Glass and Wilson made it 13-6 and a kill from freshman Katie Kabbes (Raleigh, N.C.) pushed the lead to 16-7. A Hodge solo stuff put Penn State up 19-10 and another Kabbes kill made it 20-11. A Hodge put-away extended the score to 22-12 before a Fawcett kill ended the game, 25-14.

Penn State returns home to host Minnesota and Iowa on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, at 7:00 p.m. ET both nights at Rec Hall.

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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