Scott Leads Penn State Women’s Volleyball Past Yale
Ariel Scott was dominant in top-ranked Penn State’s win over the Yale Bulldogs at Rec Hall on Saturday night. The Nittany Lions won the match in straight sets by scores of 25-16, 25-17 and 25-6. The match capped off a perfect Penn State Classic for the Nittany Lions, as the team won all three of its games in straight sets. Penn State improved to 9-1 with the win, while Yale dropped to 6-3.
The match began on a serving error by Micha Hancock, as she served long and put Yale up 1-0. The error was followed by five consecutive kills, two by Megan Courtney, and one apiece from Deja McClendon, Katie Slay and Scott.
Yale struggled to put up consecutive points through the first half of the first set, but seized momentum while down 17-9. With the help of three out of bounds spikes by Penn State, Yale rattled off five straight points, forcing head coach Russ Rose to call a timeout.
The Nittany Lions finished the first set on a tear after the timeout, ending on an 8-2 run. McClendon collected three kills during the run, including a beautiful tip over two Yale players at the net to finish off the set.
The second set was similar to the first, as Penn State led most of the way, but Yale managed to keep it close, thanks in part to Penn State net violations and out of bounds hits.
“We hit 10 balls out of bounds, I know that wasn’t a very good idea,” said Rose afterwards.
After a service error by Hancock, Yale hit the ball out of bounds on four straight rallies, leading to nine straight Penn State points and a 23-11 lead.
Yale hung in and went on a 6-1 run to keep the set within distance. The run included two kills by Mollie Rogers and one by Maya Midzick.
“One of the games we had 24 points and we didn’t put it away,” said McClendon. “We need to have it then, we need to settle the game then.”
With a score of 24-17, Aiyana Whitney was finally able to finish off the set with a kill set up by an assist by Courtney.
The Nittany Lions looked like a completely different team in the third set, as they completely stormed through Yale, making it look easy.
“I think the offer of having practice tomorrow was probably the turning point,” said Rose.
Penn State looked as dominant as they had all weekend, starting the set with six straight points, including two from Scott, who didn’t play in the second set.
Penn State was relentless, going on runs of 5-0 and 7-0 in the set. Scott was dominant, putting together separate runs of four straight Penn State points and three straight Penn State points. Scott finished off the match with 13 kills, 10 of which came in the third set.
“It was great to have Scott in the third game get hot and have 12 points,” said Rose. “The first game she had three points and then she ended up with 12 points so she just needed a breather in game two I guess.”
The end of the match came via a Nia Grant spike that hit the floor, giving Penn State the third set victory, 25-6.
The win signaled the end of the non-conference schedule for Penn State, as they will be at Rec Hall next weekend to take on 14th-ranked Michigan State on Friday, and 10th-ranked Michigan on Saturday.
“What always concerns me is the fact that there is eight Big Ten teams ranked in the top 25, and one that was ranked in the top 25 last week and dropped out,” said Rose.
Michael Katz is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.