Wednesday's match began with a service error by Micha Hancock, an all-too-familiar hiccup in Penn State's game.
Hancock, the Nittany Lions' explosive yet inconsistent server, propelled a ball out of bounds to give Iowa a 1-0 lead in the first set.
“I thought Micha’s energy at the beginning of the of the match was very bad and I shared those words with her,” said coach Russ Rose.
However, it only took about 85 minutes for Hancock, much to the chagrin of Rose, to find herself on the opposite end of the spectrum — registering a service ace to win match point.
The No. 1 Lions (21-1, 11-0) extended their winning streak to 15-straight with a 3-0 sweep at Iowa (15-8, 6-5) last night.
Hancock's lethal serve delivered two service aces, bringing her to 40 on the season, after not registering one single ace in the previous two matches.
When asked if she had strayed away from her speedy, scorching serves in the previous two matches, Hancock said "not really."
"I haven't really been in a groove, but now I feel like I'm getting it back," Hancock said.
In one of their cleanest sets this season, the Lions rushed out to a 1-0 lead with a team hitting percentage of .500 in set one. In comparison, the Hawkeyes' hitting percentage through the first set was .088.
Iowa improved as the night progressed, but still lost both remaining sets, 25-19 and 25-15, leading to Penn State's 15th sweep in 2012.
Katie Slay, who has earned acclaim for her defense this season, let her offense take center stage in the win.
En route to a 25-19 win in the second set, the 6-foot-6 middle hitter registered the Lions' 23rd, 24th and 25th points of the set — all assisted by Hancock.
"I thought (Hancock) did a great job of putting the ball high ... she gave us a lot of good opportunities to swing," Slay said.
Slay finished the night leading the team in hitting percentage (.800) and her eight kills trailed only Deja McClendon (11) for team lead.
Other lead performers for the Lions were Nia Grant who tallied five kills on seven swings, Ariel Scott who notched seven kills and libero Dominique Gonzalez, who led all players with 10 digs.
Next up for the Lions is a road game against fellow heavyweight, No. 4 Nebraska (17-2, 9-1).
While all signs point to Sunday's match at No. 4 Nebraska (17-2, 9-1) being an early look at the Big Ten Championship game, Slay stayed level-headed and said "I wouldn't say that" to the possibility of the Nebraska match having such implications.