NCAA Volleyball Tournament Central: Lions in NCAA Semifinals

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - For the 10th time in program history, the top-seeded and Big Ten champion Nittany Lion women's volleyball team (32-2) will play in the NCAA National Semifinals.  Penn State is set to face off with fifth-seeded Oregon (29-4) inside Louisville's KFC Yum! Center on Thursday at approximately 9 p.m. (ESPN2).

8398883.jpegThe winner of the Penn State-Oregon match will move on to face either third-seeded Texas (27-4) or Michigan (23-10) in the national title match.  The Nittany Lions defeated Texas, 3-0, on Sept. 1.  Penn State defeated Michigan, 3-2, in Ann Arbor during the lone meeting in Big Ten play this season.

Penn State enters the weekend after a hard-fought 3-1 win over Minnesota in the regional final.  With the match tied at 1-1, the Lions rallied from 23-21 down in the third set for a victory en route to claiming the match. Penn State enters the weekend attacking at a .307 clip, led by Big Ten Player of the Year Ariel Scott (3.73 kills/set) and Deja McClendon (3.24 kills/set).

Oregon's road to the national semifinals was not an easy one.  The Ducks swept Northern Colorado and Dayton before knocking off 12th-seeded BYU by a score of 3-1.  That set up a clash with fourth-seeded Nebraska in what was essentially a home match for the Huskers in the Omaha Regional Final.  Oregon lost the first set to Nebraska, 25-15, before winning the next three sets to punch its ticket to the national semifinals.

The Ducks, along with Michigan, will be making their first appearance in the NCAA National Semifinals on Thursday night in Louisville.  Penn State and Texas have been among the final four teams on the draw a combined 18 times.

The NCAA field has been trimmed to four teams.  Penn State's quest for a return to the national championship continues on Thursday with a bout against a talented Oregon team.


VIDEO: NCAA National Semifinal Preview Interviews
Hear from the Nittany Lions before departing for Louisville.


National Semifinals Statistical Rundown

 

Penn State

Oregon

Record

32-2

29-4

RPI

2

10

Team Hitting Percentage

.307

.296

Opponent Hitting Percentage

.127

.201

Blocks Per Set

3.00 per set

1.80 per set

Top Attacker

Scott - 3.73 kills/set

Bergsma - 4.93 kills/set

Top Blocker

Slay - 1.32 blocks/set

Finley - 0.76 blocks/set

Top Defensive Specialist

Gonzalez - 3.60 digs/set

Jacob - 4.46 digs/set



 

Texas

Michigan

Record

27-4

23-10

RPI

3

31

Hitting Percentage

.322

.246

Opponent Hitting Percentage

.174

.209

Blocks Per Set

3.00

2.24

Top Attacker

Eckerman - 4.45 kills/set

Erwin - 4.20 kills/set

Top Blocker

Bell - 1.36 blocks/set

Cross - 1.25 blocks/set

Top Defensive Specialist

Palmer - 3.44 digs/set

Morales - 3.91 digs/set

 


NCAA Semifinals Coverage
GoPSUsports.com will hit the road with the Nittany Lions at the NCAA National Semifinals.  Look for plenty of written and video coverage beginning on Wednesday at media day in Louisville before the Lions meet Oregon on Thursday night on ESPN2.

NCAA WVB_Final Four.jpg

Follow GoPSUsports.com Media Specialist Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

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