September 29, 2010

Nittany Digs: Crashing back to earth

Senior Blair Brown had 16 kills
in the losing effort at Illinois.
We all knew The Streak would end at some point. It did two weekends ago. But damn, we didn't realize Penn State would drop another match so quickly afterward.

The Nittany Lions not only fell earlier this season to Stanford, but then this past weekend, lost again, this time in conference play at No. 9 Illinois. I guess it could have been worse, against a poor opponent. But that doesn't make losing any easier for the team. In sports your goal is to win all of your games. Well, for three years, this team did just that. It must be a weird feeling to not have a 1.000 record.

Big Ten Play Opens with a Thud

No. 2 PSU at No. 9 Illinois - L, 3-2 (25-17, 14-25, 19-25, 25-14, 15-17)
The loss ended Penn State's 65-match Big Ten winning streak... [which] dated back to a 3-0 sweep of Iowa on Nov. 11, 2006. Penn State finished the 2006 season with an 18-2 record in league play and went a perfect 20-0 in Big Ten play for the next three seasons. Penn State owns the top three winning streaks in league history.

Senior Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) led the Nittany Lions with a match-high 17 kills on .536 hitting. Senior Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) was second on the team with 16 kills and freshman Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) tallied 12. Senior libero Alyssa D'Errico (Byron, N.Y.) posted a career-high 26 digs and had two aces, while sophomore setter Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) dished out 53 assists and had 10 digs. Wilson led the team in blocks with six, while Brown had five.
No. 2 PSU at Wisconsin - W, 3-0 (25-15, 25-17, 25-21)
Three Nittany Lions posted double-digit kills, including senior Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) with 14, freshman Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) with 12 and senior Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) with 10. Sophomore setter Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) dished out 39 assists, while Wilson led the team with four blocks. McClendon had a match-high 16 digs and senior Alyssa D'Errico (Byron, N.Y.) was second on the team with 14.

Penn State (11-2, 1-1) finished the match with a .355 attack percentage and held the Badgers to just .147 hitting. The Nittany Lions totaled 50 kills, 43 assists, four aces 53 digs and 8.5 total team blocks. The Badgers finished the match with 34 kills, 31 assists, two ace, 43 digs and 4.0 team blocks.
In the Polls

The Nittany Lions dropped to No. 4 in the AVCA Coaches' Poll. Penn State has lost all first place votes, after still holding one last week. Stanford now has all 60 first place votes. No. 7 Illinois (10-2) is still below PSU, though having won the first head-to-head and only having a record a half game worse than Penn State (11-2).

What's Next?
Penn State is back in action on Friday, Oct. 1 against Michigan State at 7 p.m. in Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions host Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 6 p.m. The match with the Wolverines will air live on the Big Ten Network.

For extended stats, check out

Follow LBU on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to by Email


Post a Comment