Dec. 20, 2013
NCAA Tournament Central
VIDEO: Penn State NCAA Championship Final Central from Seattle
SEATTLE - The No. 2 Penn State women's volleyball team (33-2) will look to capture its sixth NCAA national championship in program history Saturday, Dec. 21st, taking on No. 12 Wisconsin (28-9) in the first all-Big Ten national title showdown in NCAA history. First serve between the Nittany Lions and the Badgers is set for 9:30 p.m. ET in KeyArena.
The matchup will broadcast live on ESPN2 with Beth Mowins and Karch Kiraly on the call. Fans can also stream the match online at ESPN3.com or on a mobile device via the WatchESPN app. A live radio broadcast will air locally on 103.1 FM, with an audio stream available online at GoPSUsports.com.
NATIONAL TITLE TIDBITS
The Nittany Lions are 5-3 all-time in NCAA national title matches, having most recently captured the national championship in 2010 after defeating California in straight sets. The 2010 national title was the fourth consecutive for PSU since 2007. Since 2007, Penn State has not lost a national final match since 1998 when the Nittany Lions dropped a close five-set match against Long Beach State in Madison, Wisc.
PENN STATE VS. WISCONSIN
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE BADGERS
The Nittany Lions own a 42-7 advantage in the all-time series against the Badgers after stretching the current winning streak to four consecutive matches with a pair of straight-set victories during the regular season. Within the last 10 years, PSU has earned 16 of its 19 victories against Wisconsin in straight sets. In NCAA tournament matches, Penn State is 2-0 against Wisconsin, having swept the Badgers in both the 1990 and 1996 regional semifinals.
Led by freshman AVCA Second Team All-American setter, Lauren Carlini, Wisconsin is making its first appearance in the NCAA national title match since 2000. Under the guidance of first-year head coach Kelly Sheffield, the Badgers earned their first win against a No. 1 team in program history, defeating to-ranked Texas in four sets to advance to the national finals.
NITTANY LIONS SWEEP WASHINGTON, ADVANCE TO TITLE MATCH
No. 2 PSU powered past No. 3 Washington in straight sets Thursday evening in KeyArena to earn a spot in the NCAA national finals. The Nittany Lions and No. 12 Wisconsin will square off in the first all-Big Ten national final in NCAA history.
Seniors Deja McClendon and Ariel Scott led the offense with a pair of double-digit kill performances. McClendon recorded a double-double, recording a match-high 11 kills and 13 digs. Scott totaled 10 kills on 18 errorless swings, posting a .556 hitting clip. Senior Katie Slay followed closely behind with eight kills, registering a team-high four blocks. Junior Nia Grant tallied six kills, while also tying for first on the team with four blocks, including one solo stuff.
As a team, Penn State outhit Washington .488 to .117, led by junior Micha Hancok, who helped the team to its second best hitting performance of the season. The Lions also held the Huskies to their lowest point total of the season (43).
SCOTT WINS SENIOR CLASS AWARD
Senior Ariel Scott has been selected as the recipient of the women's volleyball Senior CLASS Award, as announced by the organization Wednesday morning. She is the first Nittany Lion in women's volleyball program history to earn the prestigious honor, which is presented annually to the top women's volleyball student-athlete who exemplifies excellence on and off the court.
FIVE EARN AVCA ALL-AMERICA HONORS
Four Nittany Lions have been selected to the AVCA Division I All-America teams, with one more garnering honorable mention honors. Senior Deja McClendon highlighted the entire group, as the only player in the 2013 class to be honored as a four-time AVCA All-American, earning a spot on the second-team. Senior Ariel Scott and junior Micha Hancock were both selected to the first-team, while senior Katie Slay was tabbed to the third-team. Junior Nia Grant rounded on the group as an honorable mention honoree.
ROSE NAMED AVCA DI NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR
In his 35th season at the helm of the Penn State women's volleyball team, head coach Russ Rose has been selected as the 2013 AVCA Division I Coach of the Year, as announced by the organization Wednesday afternoon. The award is the fifth time Rose has been honored as the national coach of the year during his tenure at Penn State, having earned the award in 1990, 1997, 2007 and 2008.