The Portland Pilots (5-7) proved no match for No. 4 Penn State (8-1) in the Nittany Lions’ opening contest of the 2012 Penn State Classic.
Unexpected, however, was the crisis the Lions faced with serving, as they tallied 11 service errors compared to Portland’s three.
“I thought the serving was terrible,” said Penn State head coach Russ Rose. “You can miss serves if you’re hitting it really hard and playing really hard, but I didn’t see any of that.”
In the first set, Penn State had four service errors, followed by six in the second set and one more in the last - the biggest offender being Micha Hancock, who led the Lions with five service errors. However, to mask Penn State’s shortcomings, the Lions’ methodical offensive strategy proved enough to win the match. This came as a surprise to Rose who said the Pilots are, in fact, a very solid team. Penn State won all three sets, including an opening drubbing where the Lions won the set, 25-9. Deja McClendon led the match in kills (15) and delivered a .609 attacking percentage.
By Matt Bufano