After falling behind early in the first set (something that is practically unheard of to the 2012 Penn State women’s volleyball team), the Nittany Lions quickly regained the lead and refused to let up.
The match, which took place at Purdue’s historic Mackey Stadium, went the way of the favorite, as the No. 1 Lions delivered a drubbing to No. 16 Kentucky, 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-11).
In the first set, the Wildcats tied the match at nine before beginning to pull away little-by-little. The Wildcats eventually chipped their way to a 16-13 lead before the Lions began to play with a sense of urgency and went on a 12-2 run to close out the set.
Of the last ten first-set points scored by the Lions, Big Ten Player of the Year Ariel Scott delivered four kills. As with many other matches this season, the junior turned in a standout performance, highlighted by a court-leading 11 kills. The Lions’ leading blocker was All-Big Ten selection Katie Slay, who had five total blocks.
In the second set, the Wildcats orchestrated a late surge, but ultimately it was too little, too late. Then in the third set, the Lions held a sizable advantage to the very end.
For the evening, the Lions dominated the statsheet, hitting .306 compared the Wildcats’ measly .040.
The Lions return to Mackey Stadium on Saturday to face the winner of No. 8 Minnesota versus Purdue. The winner of that match will earn a berth into the Final Four. Penn State has yet to lose a single set thus far in the tournament.