Penn State Floats Past Binghamton (and on to Bowling Green)

Nittany Lions Sweep Bearcats (25-11, 25-3, 25-9)

This was not a surprise.  When the #1 seed in the NCAA Division 1 Women’s Volleyball Tournament faces an unseeded team with a 13-17 season record, the result is likely to be very, very one-sided.  And it was, as Penn State (30-2) swept Binghamton (13-18) 25-11, 25-3, 25-9.  Yes, Binghamton scored three points in the second set.

This match may support an argument against automatic qualifiers (which Binghamton was).  Then again, tell that to the Binghamton players, for whom participation in the tournament, and playing against the #1-ranked Nittany Lions, will be a lifetime memory.

Still, the stats verge on the surreal.   6-1 Jr. OH Deja McClendon totaled a match-high 12 kills, with an .800 attack %.  6-2 So. MH Nia Grant hit .500.  6-4 Jr. Opp/RS (and Big Ten Player of the Year) Ariel Scott hit .571.  5-11 So. Setter Micha Hancock set a Penn State record with 10 service aces.  With Binghamton so thoroughly dominated, 5-6 So. libero Dominique Gonzalez wasn’t challenged as much as she has been in some matches, and ended the match with 12 digs. Nia Grant’s four blocks led the team.

22 Straight Points?  Really?

Penn State scored the first 22 points in set two, with Micha Hancock serving 21 straight points, before an error ended the streak.  If that seems like alot, it is:  The NCAA record for consecutive points served is 22 (Chelsea Gebben, Mercer vs. Savannah State, October 13, 2006).

It broke down like this: Binghamton had the first serve, and Deja McClendon responded with a kill.  Hancock then reeled off three straight service aces, followed by two more kills by McClendon.  Kills by Ariel ScottNia Grant, and McClendon, plus two more service aces by Hancock, and Binghamton was down 12-0.   Another Penn State kill, and six consecutive Binghamton errors, and Penn State had a  19-0 lead.  Hancock’s streak reached 21, then an error gave Binghamton the serve,  Chelsea Gebben’s record was safe.

Let it be Said . . .

It’s clear this was a mismatch, but one thing that shouldn’t be overlooked is that Binghamton played hard.  In the first set, they were only down by 10-8 early on.  The Bearcats were led by Sr. OH Iva Partaleva’s six kills and Jr. DS Xiomara Ortiz’s seven digs.

Match Stats

(Courtesy of