Iowa Falls

Dam Near Iowa FallsThe floodgates opened in Rec Hall as Penn State rained points onto the Hawkeyes

Nice Win, but it’s Water over the Dam

Penn State’s #2-ranked women’s volleyball team (18-2, 9-1 in the B1G) took care of business Saturday night, playing very well in an impressive sweep (25-8, 25-8, 25-11) of the Iowa Hawkeyes (10-12, 1-9 in the B1G).

Let’s put the match in perspective.  Penn State, as the #2-ranked team in the country, sitting in first place in the B1G, and playing at home, should beat unranked Iowa, the 11th-place team in the B1G, playing in front of 3,000+ Penn State fans.  Then again, Michigan State, ranked #10, playing at home in East Lansing, lost last night to unranked Indiana, 3-2 (17-25, 25-18, 20-25, 25-21, 12-15) — yes, the Indiana team that was in last place in the B1G (and which lost 3-2 to Iowa on October 19th).

So, good job, Nittany Lions.  But it’s on to the next.  And “the next” is pretty sobering — six of the remaining matches are away, and all of those are against teams ranked in the top-25 in the AVCA’s October 21st poll.  Then again (cliché alert), if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best:

Gauntlet, anyone?

Date (Time)OpponentSiteAVCA Poll 10-21-13
(7:00 p.m. ET)
@ MichiganAnn Arbor, MI
(Cliff Keen Arena)
(time tbd)
@ Michigan StateEast Lansing, MI
Jenison Field House
(7:00 p.m. ET)
vs. PurdueUniversity Park, PA
(Rec Hall)
(7:00 p.m. ET)
vs. IndianaUniversity Park, PA
(Rec Hall)
(9:00 p.m. ET)
@ WisconsinMadison, WI
(Wisconsin Field House)
(time tbd)
@ MinnesotaMinneapolis, MN
(Sports Pavilion)
(7:00 p.m. ET)
vs. NorthwesternUniversity Park, PA
(Rec Hall)
(7:00 p.m. ET)
vs. IllinoisUniversity Park, PA
(Rec Hall)
(7:00 p.m. ET)
@ Ohio StateColumbus, OH
(St. John Arena)
(8:00 p.m. ET)
@ Nebraska

Lincoln, NE
(NU Coliseum)

But back to the match.

6-1 Sr. OH Deja McClendon racked up eight kills and 10 digs — which put her at 1004 for career digs.  With her career total 1,431 career kills, McClendon is only the fifth player in Penn State history with both 1,000 career digs and 1,000 career kills.

McClendon wasn’t alone in putting up good numbers: 6-4 Sr. RS/Opp Ariel Scott totaled 11 kills (.435 attack %); 6-6 Sr. MH Katie Slay came up strong with six blocks (one solo); 6-2 Jr. MH Junior Nia Grant registered six kills (.625 attack %), with five blocks, and 6-0 Fr. MH Kelly Robertson had three kills — including the kill that ended the match.

Led by 5-11 Jr. setter Micha Hancock, the team hit .458 (Hancock also was lights-out serving, with eight service aces and only two service errors). Penn State held Iowa to a -.047 attack % — the second consecutive match in which the Nittany Lions’ opponent ended with a negative attacking %.

On the bright side for the Hawkeyes, 5-11 Jr. OH Alex Lovell became the 17th player in Iowa volleyball history to total 1,000 career kills.  Iowa’s head coach Sharon Dingman commented that  Lovell is “an outside hitter who works hard.  So, good for her.”

On the subject of Alex Lovell, one of the announcers, discussing the many challenges Penn State presents to Iowa, noted that Micha Hancock (who had just blocked Lovell), is as tall as Lovell, Iowa’s best attacker.   As are 6-6 Sr. MH Katie Slay, 6-4 Sr. RS/Opp Ariel Scott, 6-2 Jr. MH Junior Nia Grant, and 6-1 Sr. OH Deja McClendon.

As we said at the start.  It was a match Penn State should have won.  On to the next.

Match Stats

(courtesy of

Iowa StatsPenn State Stats