Penn State Men's Volleyball To Face UCLA In National Semifinals
No. 4 seed Nittany Lions Draw No. 1 seed Bruins For Thursday's National Semifinal Match
State College, Pa., April 30, 2000 --- The No. 4 seed Penn State men's volleyball team will face No. 1 seed UCLA in the first national semifinal at the 2000 NCAA Men's Volleyball Final Four on Thurs., May 4 beginning at 5:30 p.m. (EST/CDT) in Fort Wayne, Ind., at Allen County Memorial Coliseum, NCAA officials announced Sunday. No. 2 seed Pepperdine will take on No. 3 seed Ohio State in the Thursday's other semifinal which is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. (EST/CDT) or 35 minutes after the completion of the Penn State-UCLA match.
Penn State, who captured the 12th EIVA conference title in school history with a 3-0 (15-7, 15-7, 15-7) win over Concordia on Saturday night, will be making its 15th appearance in the NCAA Championships, only UCLA, which will be making its 22nd all-time appearance, has been there more often. This marks the Nittany Lions ninth Final Four appearance in the last 10 years.
The Lions and the Bruins have already squared off the season, with UCLA claiming a 3-1 (15-4, 15-3, 11-15, 15-2) win on Jan. 26 at the Outrigger Invitational in Honolulu, Hawaii. Carlos Guerra (Tampico, Mexico) led Penn State with 18 kills in the loss. Cameron Mount paced the Bruins' offense with a match-high 23 kills.
Penn State is 1-4 all-time versus UCLA in NCAA Championships play, with the last meeting occurring in 1997, a 3-2 (15-13, 13-15, 15-4, 10-15, 15-10) Bruins' win.
The last time the NCAA Championships were held in Fort Wayne, Ind. (1994), Penn State shocked the volleyball world by defeating heavily favored UCLA 3-2 (9-15, 15-13, 4-15, 15-12, 15-12) to become the first non-California school to ever claim an NCAA title.
Penn State has won its last 12 matches and currently holds a 20-13 overall record. The Lions' last loss occurred back on March 18, a 3-0 setback to IPFW. UCLA claimed the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title with a 3-1 (6-15, 15-11, 15-4, 15-9) win over Pepperdine late Saturday night. UCLA holds a 17-5 edge in the all-time series with Penn State.
The Lions were ranked No. 15 nationally in the most recent USA Today/AVCA Top 15 poll (4/25), while the Bruins were voted No. 3 in the nation.
The Penn State-UCLA match will be broadcast on espn2 in a two-hour tape delay format on Fri., May 5th beginning at 12:30 a.m. EDT (Thursday night). The NCAA Final will be broadcast live on espn2 on Sat., May 6 at 2:00 p.m. EDT.