December 5, 2010

Nittany Digs: Lions coast through first two NCAA rounds, set new home win streak record

You can bet this team isn't getting ahead of itself, after sweeping both Niagara and Virginia Tech in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament the last two nights in Rec Hall. But they were overall encouraging performances for a team that hasn't been able to match its established, albeit unprecedented, success the past three seasons.

Mixed in with the victories, Penn State set yet another record, notching its 91st and 92nd consecutive home-match wins. That's a good stat considering the next two matches--the Regional semis and finals--are in the friendly confines of Rec Hall. Penn State is 44-3 in NCAA matches at Rec Hall after its win against the Hokies, and is 68-25 overall in NCAA matches.

The First Round

No. 4 (Seed) Penn State vs Niagara - W, 3-0 (25-12, 25-19, 25-15)
Seniors Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) and Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) led the Nittany Lions with nine kills apiece. Wilson had a match-high attack percentage of .643. Sophomore setter Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) dished out 33 assists and was second on the team with eight digs. Senior Alyssa D'Errico (Byron, N.Y.) led the team with 11 digs, while freshman Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) had a match-high six total blocks.

Penn State attacked at a .370 clip and held the Purple Eagles to -.010. The Nittany Lions totaled 37 kills, five aces, 37 digs and 12.0 total team blocks. Niagara finished the match with 25 kills, four aces, 35 digs and 2.0 team blocks.
The Second Round

No. 4 (Seed) Penn State vs Virginia Tech - W, 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-13)
Senior Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) led all players with 11 kills, while senior Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) was second on the team with eight. Sophomore setter Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) paced the offense with 30 assists and senior libero Alyssa D'Errico (Byron, N.Y.) tallied six digs. Brown led the team with six total blocks, including two solo, while freshman Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) and senior Fatima Balza (Merida, Venezuela) each put up five blocks. Wilson also recorded four blocks.

The Nittany Lions attacked at a .321 clip and held the Hokies to .157. Penn State totaled 37 kills, one ace, 27 digs and 15.0 total team blocks in the match. Virginia Tech finished the match with 33 kills, four aces, 26 digs and 4.0 team blocks.
What's Next...

Penn State will host Oklahoma (23-10) in the Regional Semifinal round, Friday night at 7.

Ticket & Tourney Info...

Penn State is one of four host sites for the NCAA Regionals. Joining the Nittany Lions will be Missouri (22-10), Duke (26-6) and Oklahoma (23-10) to Rec Hall on Dec. 10-11. ALL SESSION tickets for the University Park Regional on Dec. 10-11 are also on sale NOW. They MUST also be purchased in advance at the Bryce Jordan Center Ticket Office or by calling 814-865-5555. All session tickets are $16 for adults and $10 for youth and students with a valid college or university ID and $8 for groups of 20 or more. SINGLE SESSION tickets for the University Park Regional will only be available at Rec Hall on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 10-11, and are $10 for adults, $7 for youth and students and $5 for groups.

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