The fifth-ranked Penn State women’s volleyball team (5-3) earned a 3-0 (29-27, 25-8, 25-13) victory against Long Island (3-8) on Friday evening. Sophomore Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) led the team with nine kills on .438 hitting, while sophomore Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) and Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) had eight kills each. Freshman Aiyana Whitney (Norwood, N.J.) rounded out the top hitters with six kills on .500 hitting.
In a match-up between the #1 and #2 ranked volleyball teams in the nation, top-ranked Penn State found themselves down two sets to second-ranked USC before rallying to defeat the visiting Trojans in five sets (21-25, 21-25, 25-20, 25-22, 15-8). In the other game of the night, Minnesota rebounded from a Friday loss to USC by defeating Oregon in five sets, giving the Big Ten a pair of victories over their Pac-12 opponents. Watch now for a recap and highlights of the action.
With eleven Big Ten teams earning preseason recognition in the first AVCA coaches’ poll, it’s going to be another competitive season. The Big Ten’s eight top-25 teams is the most for any conference in the country. Defending NCAA Champion Penn State earned the preseason #1 ranking, followed by Nebraska at #5, Illinois at #8, Minnesota at #12, Purdue at #13, Ohio State at #21 and Michigan at #24. Indiana, Michigan State, Northwestern and Wisconsin each also received votes in the preseason poll. Watch now as Kara Lentz takes a look at each Big Ten team heading into the 2011 volleyball season.
The No. 12 University of Minnesota volleyball team opened the 2011 season against tough competition, at State College, Pa. as the Golden Gophers faced No. 2 Southern California in the AVCA Showcase. The Gophers started the match strong but ultimately fell to USC in five sets, (25-23, 26-24, 13-25, 21-25, 7-15). In the second game of the AVCA Showcase, the four-time defending national champion, Penn State women’s volleyball team opened the 2011 season against Oregon on their home court. Oregon upset top-ranked Penn State, three sets to one, to end the Nittany Lions home winning streak.
Penn State volleyball had won 109 straight matches, but the defending national champions faced an uphill challenge. With nine new freshman added to the Nittany Lions and several key seniors lost to graduation, how would Penn State work to continue to compete for a NCAA title?