November 9, 2010

Nittany Digs: These ladies are smart, too!

The Penn State women's volleyball team is gearing up for a huge home stretch to finish out the regular season, and it started with wins over No. 15 Michigan and Michigan State this past weekend. There were weekly honors abound for the Nittany Lions, for both on- and off-the-field accomplishments.

Here's the roundup from last week.

Slay Earns Big Ten POW and Frosh POW
Katie Slay

Freshman middle hitter Katie Slay earned her first conference honors this week, being named the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Week, and Freshman of the Week, for her two-match performance against MSU and UM.
Slay led the Nittany Lion defense to wins on the road against No. 15 Michigan and Michigan State over the weekend. The freshman blocked 10 Wolverine attempts on Friday, which tied for the fifth-highest single-match total in the Big Ten this season, as the Nittany Lions held Michigan to .069 hitting in the three-set match. Her six blocks against Michigan State brought her weekend total to 16 for an average of 2.3 blocks per set. In addition, Slay combined for 17 kills on .593 hitting while on the road. She had seven kills on 10 errorless swings at Michigan and was fourth on the team with 10 kills at Michigan State.
D'Errico earns ESPN the Mag All-District Honors

Senior libero Alyssa D'Errico garnered ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District II honors this week.
D'Errico is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in business marketing and holds a 3.31 grade point average. As the starting libero, D'Errico leads the Nittany Lions with 307 digs (3.99 digs per set) so far this season and recently eclipsed the 1,000 digs milestone for her career. She also leads the team with 38 service aces and her 0.49 aces per set currently ranks second in the Big Ten and 13th in the nation. Her 135 career service aces rank seventh all-time at Penn State. A member of three national championship squads, this year D'Errico's consistent passing has guided the Nittany Lions to a conference-leading .306 hitting percentage, which also ranks fourth in the nation.
The Games...
No. 9 Penn State at No. 15 Michigan - W, 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-21)
Senior Blair Brown (Purcellville, VA.) led the Nittany Lions with 10 kills, while freshman Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) and senior Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) each tallied eight kills. Wilson surpassed the 1,000 career kills milestone against the Wolverines and heads into tomorrow night's match against Michigan State with 1,001. Sophomore Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) totaled 26 assists and led the team with 11 digs. Senior libero Alyssa D'Errico (Byron, N.Y.) was second on the team with 10 digs. Freshman Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) finished the match tying her personal-best with seven kills posted a career-high and team-best nine total blocks. Brown finished the night second on the team with a season-high six blocks.

Penn State hit .274 for the match and held the Wolverines to .069. The Nittany Lions totaled 41 kills, three aces, 34 digs and 15.0 total team blocks. Michigan finished the match with 34 kills, three aces, 33 digs and 4.0 team blocks.
No. 9 Penn State at Michigan State - W, 3-1(25-20, 22-25, 25-16, 25-19)
Four Nittany Lions posted double-digit kills with senior Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) lead all players with 18. Freshman Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) posted a season-high 14, freshman Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) had 12 and freshman Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) posted a personal-best 10. Sophomore Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) dished out 48 assists and senior libero Alyssa D'Errico (Byron, N.Y.) had a team-best 12 digs. Slay led all players with six total blocks.

Penn State hit .331 for the match and held the Spartans to .274. The Nittany Lions totaled 62 kills, six aces, 40 digs and 9.0 total team blocks. Michigan State finished the match with 51 kills, two aces, 45 digs and 9.0 team blocks.
In the Polls

No movement for No. 9 Penn State in the AVCA Coaches Poll this week.

What's Next?

Penn State (21-4, 11-3 Big Ten) is back in action Friday, Nov. 12 against Wisconsin at 7 p.m. Penn State then hosts Illinois on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. The match will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

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