No. 1 women's volleyball hosts Penn State Classic

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The No. 1 Penn State women's volleyball team concludes the non-conference portion of the schedule this weekend, hosting the Penn State Classic. The Nittany Lions look to continue a four-game winning streak, welcoming Albany to Rec Hall for a match Friday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m., before taking on Eastern Kentucky at 10 a.m. and Yale at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21.

Penn State will also host social media night on Friday against the Great Danes and Saturday against the Bulldogs. Fans are encouraged to join the conversation both nights for trivia, freebies and interaction!

WEEKEND IN REVIEW

Penn State powered past Marquette, Central Arkansas and tournament host, FGCU on the way to the Hilton Garden Inn Homewood Suites Classic title last weekend. The Nittany Lions defeated all three opponents in straight sets, marking the sixth time this season PSU has won a match in straight sets. Senior Katie Slay earned MVP honors for her performance on the court, while junior Micha Hancock and sophomore Megan Courtney joined her on the all-tournament team.

SLAY EARNS ALL-TOURNAMENT MVP HONORS

Senior Katie Slay earned her first all-tournament honors of the season after earning the MVP title in the Hilton Garden Inn Homewood Suites Classic last weekend. Slay recorded two season-high marks in the 3-0 weekend, registering a team-high eight blocks against Central Arkansas and a squad-best .818 hitting percentage at FGCU. She also combined for 23 kills on the week, with only one error while leading the team with a .667 hitting percentage. Slay also averaged 1.78 blocks per set across all three matches and extended her streak to seven straight games with at least one block.

COURTNEY AND HANCOCK EARN ALL-TOURNAMENT

Junior Micha Hancock and sophomore Megan Courtney both earned spots on the all-tournament team last weekend. The honor was Hancock's second of the season.

Hancock dished out more than 30 assists in all three PSU victories this weekend, while pacing tournament MVP, Katie Slay to a season-high .818 hitting clip against FGCU. She notched three aces against both Central Arkansas and FGCU for an 0.67 average per frame on the week.

Courtney tied for first on the team in kills against Marquette and FCGU while leading the squad with double-digit kills (10) against Central Arkansas last weekend. She combined for 28 total kills in  all three matches, adding 17 digs.

PSU RECLAIMS NO. 1 SPOT IN AVCA RANKINGS          

Following an undefeated opening weekend, the Nittany Lions reclaimed the No. 1 ranking in the  AVCA weekly Top 25 Coaches' Poll for the second time this season, while also picking up top rankings in the RichKern.com and Volleyball Magazine polls. In the AVCA poll, Penn State received 45-of-60 possible first-place votes. Last year, Penn State spent six weeks atop the standings, including five consecutive weeks from Sept. 24 to Oct.22, before earning the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, Nov. 9.

The No. 1 ranking marks the 77th time in program history that Penn State has reached the top of the polls, having earned its first-ever No. 1 ranking Sept. 2, 1997. 

PENN STATE VS. ALBANY                                             

The Nittany Lions will take on the Great Danes this weekend for the second time in program history, having faced Albany just once before in 2007. The last time the two clubs met, PSU claimed a 3-0 victory to advance to the second round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament.

SCOUTING THE GREAT DANES                                                       

Albany enters the weekend looking to put an end to a nine-matching losing streak, and secure the first victory of the season. The freshman class is pacing the Great Dane offense this year, as four of the rookies have notched double-digit kills this year, contributing to 77 percent of Albany's kills. Freshman Amanda Dolan is leading the squad with 45 kills and a team-best 22 blocks.

PENN STATE VS. EASTERN KENTUCKY                               

PSU owns a 5-1 record against the Colonels as the Lions have captured 3-0 wins in each victory against Eastern Kentucky. The most recent meeting between the two teams was Sept. 1, 2006. Penn State won the contest in straight sets to extend the streak to three straight matches without a loss, dating back to 1985.

SCOUTING THE COLONELS                                          

After opening the 2013 season on a 4-0 streak, Eastern Kentucky enters the Penn State Classic looking to halt a six-game skid. The Colonels lost all three matches last weekend in the Thunder Invite. Ashley Edmond and Alexis Plagens are leading the Colonel offense with 100+ kills this season. Edmond is at the helm of the pair with 141 kills, averaging a squad-best 3.53 kills per frame. She's also tallied 10 aces, 17 digs and 14 blocks. 

PENN STATE VS. YALE                                                         

Penn State has never lost a match or a set to the Bulldogs, as the Nittany Lions own a 7-0 record against Yale. The history between the two teams dates all the way back to 1978, when the two teams met twice, with PSU claiming wins in both matches. The most recent tilt between the two clubs, with the most recent meeting occurring in December of 2008.

SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS                                               

Yale is out to a 4-2 start in 2013, behind solid offensive contributions from Mollie Rogers and Brittani Steinberg, who have led the squad to a .279 team hitting percentage. Rogers is pacing the squad with a team-best 65 kills, while averaging 1.86 digs per set. Maddie Rudnick is anchoring the defense with 114 digs, tallying 5.18 per frame. Last weekend, the Bulldogs went 2-1 with the only loss coming to nationally ranked opponent, Stanford. Yale answered back the next day with wins against Air Force and Army.

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Last Updated September 19, 2013