#2 PSU Women's Volleyball Wraps up Another Big Ten Title

McClendon had a double-double, 11 kill, 14 dig performance. Nittany Lions defeat Ohio St. in straight sets.
COLUMBUS, OHIO - No. 2 Penn State women’s volleyball (27-2, 18-1) powered past Ohio State (17-14, 5-14) in straight sets (25-12, 25-14, 25-8) on the way to an outright Big Ten Championship Wednesday evening at St. John Area. The victory puts the Nittany Lions in sole possession of its 16th conference title in program history and its 11th in the last 10 years.
Senior Deja McClendon led the offense with a double-double, recording 11 kills and a match-high 14 digs. Senior Ariel Scott followed close behind with eight kills on 17 errorless swings, adding three blocks. Junior Nia Grant put down six kills for a squad-best .556 hitting percentage. Senior Katie Slay led the blocking with seven blocks.
Tied up early in the first set, 2-2, the Nittany Lions used a 4-1 strike to build a narrow three-point lead, 6-3. Ohio State followed a Penn State service error with an ace to trim the advantage to one, 6-5. Scott, Grant and sophomore Megan Courtney answered with a triple block at the net to open up a 6-1 streak that helped Penn State double its lead, 12-6, forcing the Buckeyes to call a timeout.
After the break, OSU tried to settle into a rhythm with a kill, 12-7, but PSU used a 9-1 run to expand the lead to 13, 21-8. The Buckeyes attempted to get back on track with a kill and an ace, but Penn State closed out the frame with a 4-2 spurt, capped off with a kill from Grant that put away a 25-14 win in the first set.
Penn State sprinted to an 8-3 advantage in the second set before an error momentarily halted the momentum. Courtney answered with back-to-back kills, sparking a 5-1 stretch that extended the PSU advantage to as many as eight, 13-5. Following a brief timeout, the Buckeyes attempted to regroup with a kill, but the Nittany Lions embarked on a 9-3 run, featuring two kills and an ace from McClendon to claim its largest lead of the stanza, 22-9.
Despite two kills from the Buckeyes, an OSU error and a kill from Scott brought Penn State to set-point, 24-11. Battling back, Ohio State held off three set-point attempts, but Grant locked up a 25-14 win in the second set with a kill for a 2-0 lead in the match.
Following the intermission, Penn State stormed out to a 14-1 advantage for a commanding lead midway through the third set. Ohio State tried to spark the offense with a kill, but PSU used a 5-2 streak to grow the lead as high as 15, 19-4. Regrouping, the Buckeyes put together a 3-0 run from PSU errors, 19-7, but the Nittany Lions quickly countered with a 6-1 streak that wrapped up a 25-8 win in the third set and a straight-set victory in the match.
The eight points Penn State gave up in the third set marks the fewest number of points given up by the Nittany Lions in any individual set against a Big Ten opponent this season.

--Penn State Athletic Communications
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