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Dec. 20, 2008
Recap | Box Score | Quotes | Notes | Photo Gallery|Penn State Post-match Press Conference (Audio) | The Radio Call of the Last Moments of the National Championship | Penn State Press Conference Video | Stanford Press Conference Video
OMAHA, Neb. - -- Penn State defeated Stanford 3-0 (25-20, 26-24, 25-23) for its third Division I women's volleyball championship. The Nittany Lions also won the title in 1999 and in 2007.
-- This is the fourth time that Stanford and Penn State have played each other for the national championship. Penn State won 3-0 in 1999 and 3-2 in 2007, while Stanford won 3-2 in 1997.
-- Tonight's national championship match featured nine AVCA All-Americans, including eight First Team honorees.
-- Tonight's match is the first time in NCAA Tournament history that the same two teams have met in the championship match two years in a row.
-- Tonight's attendance of 14,299 is the second-highest championship match attendance in NCAA Division I Tournament history. It was also the sixth-largest crowd ever to witness a Division I postseason volleyball match.
-- The total attendance for the championships of 31,729 is also the second-highest attendance for the Volleyball Championships in NCAA Tournament history.
-- A total of 108,382 people attended the tournament this year. 48,395 attended matches at first and second round site and 28,258 attended regional matches. The overall attendance was the fourth-highest total in tournament history.
Penn State Notes
-- Penn State has won an NCAA Division I record 64 consecutive matches. Penn State has not tasted defeat since losing 3-2 to Stanford on Sept. 15 last season. The Nittany Lions won their last 26 matches in a row in 2007 en route to the national championship all 38 matches in 2008.
-- Penn State is just the sixth team to win back-to-back championships. Hawaii (1982-83), Pacific (1985-86), UCLA (1990-91), Stanford (1996-97) and USC (2002-03) are the other teams to accomplish the feat.
-- Penn State finished the year 38-0, becoming just the fourth team in Division I history to win the national championship with an undefeated season. Long Beach State (36-0) in 1998, Nebraska (34-0) in 2000 and USC (35-0) in 2003 were the other three.
-- Penn State become the eighth team in 11 years to hold # 1 ranking in the AVCA poll heading into the tournament ended up winning the championship.
-- With the championship, Penn State is one of only three schools to win NCAA titles in men's and women's volleyball in the same calendar year. UCLA in 1984 and Stanford in 1997 are the other two. Stanford (1996-97) and Penn State (2007-08) are the only two to win both titles in the same academic year.
-- Penn State set a new rally era record (2001-present) for hitting percentage, finishing the season with a mark of .390, breaking the old mark of .369 set by Florida A&M. That is also the second-highest percentage of all-time for any era.
-- Penn State is now 6-5 all-time against Stanford, including 3-2 in tournament play.
-- Penn State hit a season-low .177, just the fifth time this season that the Nittany Lions have hit less than .300 during a match.
-- Penn State's 64 digs were its second-highest total of the season.
-- Penn State had 11.5 total team blocks and five service aces, while Stanford recorded 11.0 total team blocks and zero service aces.
-- Penn State Head Coach Russ Rose was named AVCA National Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year. He became the first coach in NCAA Division I history to earn the award in back-to-back seasons.
-- This is the third NCAA championship of Coach Rose's career, tying him for third on the all-time list with Andy Banachowski (UCLA), Dave Shoji (Hawaii), Mick Haley (Texas/USC) and Brian Gimmillaro (Long Beach State).
-- Junior outside hitter Megan Hodge was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament Championship for the second year in a row.
-- Senior outside hitter Nicole Fawcett and junior setter Alisha Glass were named to the All-Tournament Team for the second consecutive year. -- Hodge led all players with 16 kills and added 14 digs for her fifth double-double of the year. She also hit .318 for the match.
-- Senior middle hitter Christa Harmotto nailed eight kills and finished with a .433 hitting percentage for her career. That surpasses the previous NCAA Division I career record of .423 held by Virag Domokos of George Mason. However, it stands second all-time as Stanford's Foluke Akinradewo set the new standard of .447.
-- Harmotto also hit .312 and six block assists.
-- Fawcett, who was named AVCA National Player of the Year, was the only other player in double figures kills offensively for the Nittany Lions. She finished with 10 kills, while adding 11 digs for her third double-double of the season.
-- Glass dished out 40 assists and sophomore opposite Blair Brown hit .333 and registered five block assists.
-- Senior libero Roberta Holehouse led all players with 18 digs.
-- Stanford finished the year 31-4. The Cardinal is just the third team in Division I history to reach the NCAA championship match in three straight seasons. The other two teams are UCLA (1990-91-92) and Penn State (1997-98-99).
-- This was the 14th time that Stanford has appeared in the national title match, most in Division I history. The Cardinal has a 6-8 record during those title contests.
-- Stanford has lost in the championship match of the NCAA Tournament in each of the past three seasons.
-- Stanford is now 0-6 when losing the first set of a championship match. Penn State won the first set tonight 25-20.
-- This was the ninth time that Head Coach John Dunning has coached a team to the national title match, most among any coach in NCAA Division I history.
-- Stanford hit a season-low .142 for the match, the ninth time this season that they have hit less than .300 during a match.
-- Senior middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo had eight kills tonight and finished her career with a .446 hitting percentage. That sets a new NCAA Division I record, surpassing the old record of .423 held by Virag Domokos of George Mason.
-- Senior outside hitter Cynthia Barboza and sophomore outside hitter Alix Klineman were both named to the All-Tournament Team for the second time in their careers. Barboza was also selected in 2006, while Klineman earned the honor for the second straight year.
-- Akinradewo had a match-high six block assists.
-- Sophomore libero Gabi Ailes surpassed the 1,000-career dig mark in the semifinals. She had a team-high 16 digs tonight, finishing the season with 1,024 to date for her career.
-- Ailes' 491 digs this season are the third-best total in school history.
-- Barboza had 11 kills and 15 digs for her 15th double-double of the season.
-- Klineman recorded a team-best 15 kills.
-- Sophomore setter Cassidy Lichtman handed out 36 assists.
-- Lichtman and junior middle blocker Janet Okogbaa each had four total blocks