Penn State started its title defense with a bang, as the Nittany Lions swept Liberty Friday night in Rec Hall (25-16, 25-16, 25-16).
Penn State moves on to face Delaware in the second round of the NCAA tournament Saturday night in Rec Hall. The Fighting Blue Hens defeated American in four sets in the match preceding the Lions' win.
Sophomore Ariel Scott carried the Lions to victory in their match with a dominant offensive performance, hitting .452, with 16 kills on 31 attacks. Scott didn't have an error until the third set, finishing the match with just two.
Penn State's physical presence proved to be too much for the Flames as Penn State's superior height and athleticism were a main factor for the Lions.
Sophomore Deja McClendon didn't have her best performance hitting just .056, but her teammates were able to pick up the slack.
Coach Russ Rose put redshirt freshman and State College native Maggie Harding in to serve for match point in the first set, and the Lions won the point and the set.
Sophomore Maddie Martin played a solid all-around match, hitting .273 with eight kills and tallying 10 digs as well, good enough to tie her for the team lead in that category.
Sophomore libero Ali Longo and freshman setter Micha Hancock also had 10 digs.
The Lions will face Delaware at 7:30 Saturday night in Rec Hall with a berth in the third round of the NCAA tournament at stake.