Women’s Volleyball Ends Regular Season With Win Over Nebraska

The No. 2 Penn State women’s volleyball team continued its dominance and extended its winning steak to 19 consecutive matches in a 3-1 win over No. 8 Nebraska last night to end the regular season.

Deja McClendon, Megan Courtney, and Ariel Scott led the offense in this impressive win. McClendon had her ninth double-double of the season with 13 kills, 13 digs, and two blocks. Courtney followed with her sixth double-double of the season, posting 14 kills, 12 digs, and four blocks. Scott had 17 kills, five digs and four blocks in the match.

The Nittany Lions started the first set behind early after Nebraska opened up with a 5-1 run. Katie Slay jumpstarted the Nittany Lions offense with a kill that began a 4-1 run to cut Nebraska’s lead to one, 6-5. Penn State continued to fight and used back-to-back kills from Slay to tie the game at 12 points each. Penn State could not take the lead and went down as many as five before going on a 3-0 run to bring the score to 20-18 in favor of the Huskers before losing the opening set 25-22.

The second set was yet another close battle. Penn State and Nebraska went back and forth before a run by the Nittany Lions gave them a 9-6 advantage. The Huskers held on, later tying the set up at 19-19, forcing Penn State to call a timeout and try to regroup. The Nittany Lions came out of the stoppage with a 5-2 run featuring three kills by Scott, who ended the set with another soon after at 25-23 to tie up the match at 1-1.

In the third set, the Lions again struggled to hold onto a lead and were trailing by four early on at 10-6. Even after a pair of kills from Scott and Slay looked to get the offense going, Penn State was not able find any momentum and Nebraska soon led 14-8. Slay and Scott again had consecutive kills soon after to cut the Huskers lead to two. The match stayed close and a late ace from Micha Hancock brought the Lions within two at 20-18. Nebraska looked to have control of the set at 23-21, but an ace from Lacey Fuller forced Nebraska to call a timeout. Penn State was unfazed and closed it out with a 3-2 streak, winning the set 26-24.

The fourth set saw much of the same as the teams rushed out to a quick 7-7 tie. Courtney had the kill that sparked the offense to a 5-2 run to take the lead 12-9.  Nebraska fought back and tied the set at 12-12. The set continued to go back and forth and was tied eight more times before Nebraska went on a 3-0 run, 23-20, putting the Huskers in good position to win the set and tie up the match. Penn State answered by going on a 4-0 run, taking a one-point lead. Nebraska tied it at 24-24 but Grant had a kill for the set and match point as Penn State won 26-24 to end the season with an impressive win against a tough Big Ten opponent.

The Lions will find out where they are going to be seeded in the 2013 NCAA Tournament tomorrow night. Selections will be announced at 9:30 p.m. on ESPU.

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