Deja and Maya: Watt a pair of smiles!
Three Weekend Sweeps, But Unanswered Questions Remain
Tauron MKS Dabrowa warms up Friday evening
Long Anthem, Short Match: Lions Down Tauron MKS
“I thought we played really hard and I thought that we had some pretty good passing. Micha (Hancock) did a nice job getting the ball to Katie (Slay) and Nia (Grant) in the middle, so those two were really key along with Deja (McClendon), who did an awful lot for us tonight too.” Head Coach Russ Rose after Friday’s match against Tauron MKS.
At first, it looked like Friday night’s match between the #2-ranked Penn State University women’s volleyball team and Tauron MKS Dabrowa Gornicza, the Polish professional team kicking off an eight-match tour of the United States, might never get started. The recording of the Polish National Anthem (a very nice anthem, don’t get us wrong) went on, and on, and — well, let’s put it this way: even the MKS players were giggling.
But someone finally hit the “end” button, the pep band played a rousing version of The Star Spangled Banner, and the two teams faced off for what ended up as a 3-0 (28-26, 25-21, 25-20) sweep by Penn State.
Of course, from a statistical standpoint, this exhibition match doesn’t count towards Penn State’s 2013 record, so in a sense, it never happened. But if it had happened (statistically speaking), 6-6 Sr. MH Katie Slay (a team-leading 13 kills — how often has that happened?), 6-1 Sr. OH Deja McClendon (12 kills), 6-2 RS Fr. OH Paulina Prieto Cerame and 6-4 Sr. Opp Ariel Scott (eight kills each) would have had impressive statistical performances. Slay also registered six total blocks, while 5-11 Jr. setter Micha Hancock’s 37 assists guided the offence to a .273 attack percentage.
Below, courtesy of GoPSUsports.com, are the Match Stats. For the complete write-up of the match, go to GoPSUsports.com
Penn State 3-0 over Syracuse
OK, Friday’s match never happened, but Saturday morning’s match against Syracuse most definitely did, and the Nittany Lions responded with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-17) sweep of Syracuse.
6-2 RS Fr. OH Paulina Prieto Cerame had another impressive performance, as her nine kills led Penn State (, 6-2 Jr. MH Nia Grant totaled six kills). 6-5 RS So. OH Aiyana Whitney , seeing her first action since the 2011 season, posted six kills in only one set (according to some observers, two of her kills were the two best swings by anyone in the tournament). 6-6 Sr. MH Katie Slay led the Nittany Lions with five blocks (two solo blocks); 5-11 Jr. setter Micha Hancock totaled 30 assists, as she directed the offense to a .313 attack percentage.
Below, courtesy of GoPSUsports.com, are the Match Stats. For a complete write-up of the match, go to GoPSUsports.com.
Louisville Falls 3-0 in Evening Match
This was a matchup in which “Team McClendon” — the army of relatives of Penn State’s 6-1 Sr. OH Deja McClendon and Louisville’s 5-9 Fr. OH Maya McClendon — managed to combine enthusiasm with balanced neutrality, as they cheered on both sisters throughout the match.
In the end, Deja’s Penn State team swept No. 19 Louisville (1-1) (25-15, 25-16, 25-13). 6-4 Sr. Opp Ariel Scott led the Nittany Lions with 11 kills, while 6-2 RS Fr. OH Paulina Prieto Cerame played her third-consecutive solid match, putting down 10 kills. 5-11 Jr. setter Micha Hancock totaled eight service aces and 28 assists, as she led the team to a .421 hitting percentage in the third set.
Hancock was named MVP for the Penn State Invitational, and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Slay and Prieto Cerame.
The match stats, courtesy of GoPSUsports.com, are below. For a complete match write-up, go to GoPSUsports.com.