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No. 1 PSU proves too much for Badgers

Sept. 28, 2012

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1 Penn State 3, Wisconsin 0
UW Field House • Madison, Wis.
Game Photo

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
 Penn State
25 25 25 -- --
19 21 7 -- --
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• Attendance: 3,698
 Stats Leaders
Penn State Wisconsin
McClendon - 14 Kills Chapman - 9
Hancock - 46 Assists Thomas - 23
Grant - .667 Hit %
Chapman - .286
McClendon/ Gonzalez - 16 Digs Hickey - 10
Slay - 4 Blocks Mitchell - 6
Hancock - 3  Aces --
 Stats Comparison
 Kills 54 28
 Hitting Pct. .370 .135
 Assists 50 27
 Service Aces 5 0
 Digs 56 37
 Total Blocks 8 8.5
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MADISON, Wis. – Penn State proved its worth as the No. 1 team in the country, sweeping Wisconsin 3-0 Friday night at the UW Field House. The 25-19, 25-21, 25-7 loss is the first for the Badgers at home this year and just their third all season.

“Penn State played really well,” head coach Pete Waite said. “We really never got on track in the third set and just could get no rhythm going. They proved why they’re the No. 1-ranked team right now.”

 Fast Facts
• This was the Badger's 12th match against the No. 1 team in the country. Wisconsin is now 1-12 all time.
Alexis Mitchell led all players with six blocks.
• The Badgers had not lost two consecutive matches all season until Friday night.

Penn State (13-1, 3-0) set the tone early, taking a 6-2 advantage over the Badgers (13-3, 1-2) in the first set. Wisconsin held tight, coming within one point of the Nittany Lions at 13-14, but that would prove to be as close as the Badgers would come in the set.

Despite eight assists and seven digs from sophomore Courtney Thomas, PSU finished out the set with three straight points to take a 1-0 advantage. Wisconsin hit just .095 (11 kill – 7 errors – 42 attempts) in the set.

The Badgers came out for the second set with a renewed determination, taking an early 6-4 lead. Penn State took the lead five points later, but Alexis Mitchell put down her lone kill of the set to tie the score at 11. From there though, Penn State went on a 5-0 run to open up a comfortable 16-11 lead.

The Nittany Lions led by as many as seven points in the second set, but the Badgers fought back to grab three straight points, to trail 23-20. Penn State took two of the final three points in the set, and despite the Badgers out-hitting the Nittany Lions .333 to .282, Penn State took the set 25-21.

“I thought we played well the first two sets, not our best,” Waite said. “And that made us come out of the locker room thinking if we played a little bit better, we’d get the next set and it ended up being the reverse.”

It was all Penn State in the final set. The Nittany Lions out-hit Wisconsin .500 to .000 as the Badgers put up their fewest points ever in a set, losing 25-7. Wisconsin kept the score close early, trailing 5-2, before PSU jumped out to a lead that grew to as large as 18, its final margin of victory.

As a team, the Badgers finished the night hitting .135 (28-14-104), while Penn State compiled a .370 (54-14-108) hitting percentage. Wisconsin out-blocked the Nittany Lions 8.5- 8.0, while PSU came away with five aces to none for the Badgers.

Sophomore Ellen Chapman led Wisconsin with nine kills, while junior Bailey Reshel contributed five off the bench. Thomas finished the match with 23 assists and nine digs. Junior Annemarie Hickey led the Badgers with 10 digs. Senior Alexis Mitchell led all players with six blocks, while Thomas finished right behind with five.

“You have to hand it to them,” Mitchell said. “They’re a good team and they proved they’re the No. 1 team. But, I think if we just stick to our game plan tomorrow then we’ll come out on top.”

Coach Waite agreed.

“We have to leave this behind us,” Wait said. “This game is history; we move on, it’s a new team. Ohio State is very, very good, but we’ll be a better team tomorrow night when we walk on the court.”

The Badgers get right back on the court to face No. 22 Ohio State Saturday night at 7 p.m. at the Field House.

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