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May 25, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The five-time national champion Penn State women's volleyball team unveiled its2012 schedule Friday. The Nittany Lions are scheduled to compete in 31 regular season matches, including four preseason tournaments, and make 15 appearances at home in Rec Hall.
Penn State is set to face 14 teams that competed in the 2011 NCAA tournament, including 10 teams ranked in the final AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll. The Nittany Lions will face NCAA runner-up Illinois, regional finalists Texas and Florida, regional semifinalists Purdue, Minnesota, Ohio State and Michigan and NCAA Tournament participants Michigan State, Morehead State, Louisville, Nebraska, Stanford, Washington and Western Kentucky.
The Nittany Lions are 453-95 (.827) all-time against its scheduled 2012 opponents. Penn State has also compiled a 369-51 (.879) record in Big Ten play since joining the league in 1991.
Penn State opens the 2012 season with a trip to Louisville, Ky. on Aug. 24-25. The Lions face Morehead State on Aug. 24 before taking on Western Kentucky and host, Louisville, on Aug. 25.
The Nittany Lions serve as the host for the 2012 Nike Big Four Volleyball Classic on Aug. 31-Sept. 1. Texas and Florida open the weekend on Aug. 31 at 4 p.m. with Penn State meeting Stanford at 7 p.m. The Gators challenge the Cardinal at 4 p.m. on Saturday with Penn State closing out the weekend vs. Texas at 7 p.m.
After a second week on the road at the Mother McAuley Tournament in Chicago, Ill. where the Lions face DePaul, Oregon State and Illinois-Chicago on Sept. 8-9, the Nittany Lions return home for the Penn State Classic. The Nittany Lions welcome Washington, Eastern Illinois and Duquesne to Rec Hall on Sept. 14-15.
The Nittany Lions remain at home to open Big Ten action against Nebraska on Sept. 19 and host Iowa on Sept. 22. Penn State's first Big Ten road matches are set for Sept. 28-29 when the Lions travel to Wisconsin and Minnesota, respectively.
Head coach Russ Rose enters his 34th season at the helm of the Penn State program and welcomes the return of six starters from the 2011 squad. Starters returning include Big Ten Freshman of the Year Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.), AVCA First Team All-American Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.), Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and AVCA Second Team All-American Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.), AVCA Third Team All-American Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.), Maddie Martin (Tampa, Fla.) and Nia Grant (Warren, Ohio). The group helped lead Penn State to a 25-8 overall record, a second-place finish in the Big Ten and an appearance in the NCAA Regional Semifinals. The Nittany Lions also welcome back Kristen Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.), Erica Denney (Aurora, Colo.), Lacey Fuller (San Diego, Calif.), Dominique Gonzalez (San Antonio, Texas), Maggie Harding (State College, Pa.), Marika Racibarskas (Chatham, N.J.) and Aiyana Whitney (Norwood, N.J.).
Penn State boasts the addition of four newcomers to this year's team, including 6-2 setter/outside hitter Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio), 6-2 outside hitter Paulina Prieto Cerame (Miami, Fla.), 5-4 defensive specialist Lara Caraway (Evans City, Pa.) and 5-6 defensive specialist Kendall Pierce (Eden, N.Y.).
Season tickets are now on sale for the 2012 women's volleyball season. Season tickets are $84 for adults, $56 for youth (ages 12 and under). Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-NITTANY or by visiting the Athletic Ticket Office at the Bryce Jordan Center during normal business hours.
For more information on the Penn State women's volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State women's volleyball 2012 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets.
Penn State women's volleyball is on Twitter. Follow @PSUVolleyball to get the inside scoop.