No. 1 Penn State Sweeps Villanova


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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Sophomore middle hitter Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) pounded 10 kills on .529 hitting with eight blocks to help the top-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team to a three-set sweep of Villanova (25-20, 25-12, 25-16) Saturday night in front of 3,311 fans. The Nittany Lions remain unbeaten at 6-0 and have yet to drop a set, while the Wildcats even their record at 3-3.

"This wasn't a great weekend for us," said head coach Russ Rose. "We didn't play at as high a level as I had hoped with the terrific crowds we had and with it being our first home weekend. Some of that can be attributed to traveling back from Hawaii but I thought we could have been fresher. Blair played well and the blocking did a nice job. Berta (Roberta Holehouse) did an exceptional job with passing and defense."

Wilson was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Nittany Lion Invitational and was joined on the all-tournament team by Holehouse and senior middle hitter Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) as well as Villanova's Dana Tartazky and Maggie Mergen, Long Island's Martina Racic and George Washington's Abby Syverson.

Junior outside hitter Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) also recorded 10 kills in the win as Harmotto posted eight kills on .538 hitting and sophomore outside hitter Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) notched eight kills on .429 hitting.

Junior setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) directed the Lion offense with 36 assists and Holehouse led the defense with 19 digs as senior outside hitter Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) picked up eight digs. Glass and Hodge both added in five digs as sophomore Alyssa D'Errico posted four, sophomore Cathy Quilico (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) recorded two and freshman Megan Shifflett (Falls Church, Va.) notched one.

Penn State dominated the blocking game, racking up 15.5 stuffs to Villanova's one. Wilson led the way with eight as Fawcett and Harmotto both posted six, Glass tallied four and Brown recorded three.

The first game remained even early on, with a Brown kill giving Penn State the 10-8 lead. A Harmotto put-away made it 14-11 before a Fawcett block and kill forced a Villanova timeout at 18-13. A Fawcett ace and Wilson kill extended the score to 23-16 before a Hodge kill ended the set, 25-20.

A Lion triple block by Brown, Wilson and Hodge pushed the Lions ahead 8-5 in the second stanza and two Hodge kills, a Brown put-away and a D'Errico ace extended the lead to 14-7. The run continued after a Wildcat timeout with kills from Hodge and Harmotto to make it 16-7 and a Glass kill and two Villanova errors pushed Penn State up 21-10. A Wilson kill and solo block along with a Brown put-away made it 23-11 before a Fawcett kill ended the game, 25-12.

Penn State racked up 7.5 team blocks in the third set as four stuffs, including a triple effort from Fawcett, Harmotto and Wilson made it 11-5 in favor of the Lions. Kills from Fawcett and Wilson along with a Wilson and Brown block extended the score to 16-9 and a Harmotto kill along with a Harmotto and Glass kill pushed the Lions up 21-11. A Harmotto solo stuff gave Penn State the 23-14 advantage before a Brown kill ended the game, 25-16.

The Nittany Lions take to the road next weekend for the Chicago Classic at Mother McAuley High School. Penn State will face Illinois-Chicago on Friday, Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m. CT before taking on Illinois State on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 2:00 p.m. CT. The Nittany Lions end the weekend with Louisville on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

For more information on the Penn State women's volleyball team, please visit The Penn State women's volleyball 2008 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets and The Outlets At Hershey.

Article courtesy of Penn State athletics.

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